Friday, 8 May 2015

Cleaning my closet

Hello lovely readers. This post is a bit different from everything I've posted on this blog so far. There aren't any photos because I'm not really at my best right now. But that's not what I want to talk to you about today. It's something that has been on my mind a lot the last couple of years and I had to do a lot of soul searching and coming to terms with it to get to a point where I can talk about it freely and comfortably. 
Those of you who follow me on ask.fm probably know what I'm talking about. And to make it clear to everyone else: I'm gay (or a lesbian, if you prefer that term). There, I said it. 
Now, you may be asking yourself why I'm choosing to share this clearly personal information with you. For one, I want to. I feel like I'm always tiptoeing around it and trying to phrase things a certain way, so people don't figure it out. And also because I want to talk about certain topics on this blog that I think need to be addressed and I think I can do that better if you're aware of certain things. 
Okay, so how long have I known? I realized that I was attracted to girls quite a long time ago but I didn't really think much of it. I was sure it was just a phase and that I was going to get over it and I really didn't want to think about it at all. I felt different enough as it was and being gay was the last thing I wanted to be. So I ignored it. I completely excluded it as a possibility. So my life continued like that and as far as I was concerned, I was straight. The first person I ever talked to about me being interested in girls, was my ex boyfriend and that was about two years ago (at the start of high school). I didn't say much, I just mentioned it randomly throughout the conversation. But I did start to think about it more. I always said that I could fall in love with anyone, regardless of their gender because it was a neat way for me to acknowledge that "other side of me". I was still very much in denial of what was going on inside me. I had an amazing boyfriend, but something about it just didn't feel right. We realized we weren't really compatible and broke it off after almost two years. And that's where I came to a turning point. I developed feelings for a girl and it was unlike anything I've felt before. I couldn't hide from it anymore, it was real. It was happening. And it was terrifying. Even if I didn't show it on the outside, I was freaking out and I spent hours and hours thinking about it and going back and forth and back and forth. I had no idea who I was anymore. People started to find out about my feelings for this girl and I got a lot of questions asking me if I was bisexual. Deep inside I knew that wasn't the case, but I had a hard time letting go of that "straight part of me". I was still contemplating the possibility that maybe I was attracted to both guys and girls, so I went along with it. I introduced the idea to my friends and family, never being too forward about it. But I felt like I was lying to everyone, including myself. I started to push away my friends a bit and spent a lot of time in my room alone, just thinking about it and trying to figure out where I stood. I stepped in front of a mirror one day and just looked at my reflection and I tried to say it out loud: You are gay. No words came out though. This went on for quite a while until I was talking to a friend one Sunday and I just felt this need to tell someone already. It was weighing me down, consuming me and I couldn't take it any longer. I told her to meet me for coffee the next morning. It took me about half an hour, but I finally said it. It felt incredible. Just hearing myself say that sentence and then starting to put everything I was thinking into words. I felt free. That gave me enough courage to tell five more friends about it the same day. And I would like to take this moment to tell you how amazing those people have been. I realized all of my fears were ridiculous. They never questioned it, they accepted me and what I was sharing with them without hesitation. And I went home that day feeling accomplished. I was finally at peace with who I was. With every day that passed I became more and more comfortable with the idea and I decided to share it with my parents. As I said before, they already knew about that girl, but I never gave them anything definitive. Being a chicken, I still couldn't say it straight forward. First I told my brother and as far as he was concerned, nothing really changed. He was perfectly fine with it. Then I started talking about it with my parents a bit more (my brother helping me) and though my mum had trouble adjusting to it, my dad was perfectly okay with it from the get go. Since I expected a negative response, this was better then I could have hoped. I'm extremely lucky, I know that. 
So that was it. Maybe a bit anticlimactic, but that is the story of how I left my closet for good. I got a lot of comments on ask about it, some of them being that I'm just looking for attention, that I can't be gay because I  had a boyfriend and that I don't even know what I'm feeling (there were a lot of nice ones to). And I can assure you that none of that is true. Everyone's experience is different. Some people realize it sooner, others later. Some have partners of the opposite sex before that, others don't. It's a unique and personal experience, and no doubt a hard one at times. 
Someone also asked me why I chose to label myself, when I specifically said that I don't like to do that. In general, that is true. I don't like to limit myself by labelling myself. But this was different. This label was for me to free myself from that closet I was stuck in for so long. It helped me figure myself out and that's why I chose to use it. And also, I prefer the term gay for some reason and that is why I mostly use that rather than calling myself a lesbian. It's just a personal preference. 
I really wanted to share this with you and also let you know that whatever you feel is valid and it matters. Don't try to suppress your feelings and pretend they don't exist because it will all build up inside you and one day you'll just explode. Of course don't ever force yourself to come out if you're not ready yet or if you feel like your environment could become dangerous for you. But otherwise it may help you come to terms with it and maybe after it you'll feel more comfortable inside your own skin. I'm not saying it always ends up as good as it did in my case, it doesn't. I consider myself very lucky. But know that there's a whole community of people out there who know how you feel and will love you and appreciate you for who you are. You matter. No matter what your sexual orientation, gender is, how you express your gender or anything else that doesn't really fit the general idea of normal, you do you.
I'm probably going to do more posts on LGBTQ+. For now, this is it. Next week you'll get an ootd and all that jazz that you like.

Until then, thank you for reading and know that I love and apprecite you very much.
XXX, Ingrid




3 comments:

  1. I admire you, Ingrid! Your strength and you setting an example of being true to your own truth about your sexuality at a very young age really is inspiring. Thank you for sharing the process of you coming out. I really appreciated it as I really do identify with the plight of LGBTQ community strongly. Keep writing and sharing <3 xo

    Shanaz | Fashionista NOW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for this, I really appreciate it so much. <3 XX

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  2. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay

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