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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

To be or not to be straight, that is the question

Coming out as gay was hard to do, but coming out as straight was even harder. smith_hannah

After growing up lesbian, it took me until I was nearly 19 years old to realize that I was straight.

I had just broken up with my long-term girlfriend when I moved to Santa Barbara a year ago. A boy came into my work one night and asked me out on a date.

I knew right then that whatever answer came out of my mouth would change my life forever.

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Before I answered him, I flashed back on my life and how everything I knew to be “normal” could change in an instant.

I said yes.

After I came home from my first date with this boy, I went into my mom’s room and started crying.

Thinking that the date went horribly, my mother consoled me by saying, “Boys are stupid, honey.”

With tears streaming down my face I explained to her the date went really well and I’m afraid that I wasn’t a lesbian anymore.

Coming out is a difficult process. It happens in stages, like these:

“The denial” came first.

I just spent the last 6 years of my life becoming the most stereotypical lesbian possible, there was no way in hell I could ever be straight. I loved rainbows, cats and flannel shirts. I just couldn’t possibly imagine a life of pink, dogs and dresses.

“The realization,” came next.

Plenty of crying happened during this stage. I didn’t want to let go of the homosexual life I had created, but I knew that it was no longer where I belonged. Does this mean that everything I ever knew was a lie?

“The burning” came after.

Yes, everything was a lie. I must gather all of my lesbian belongings, from my Birkenstocks to my 6 season collection of “The L Word,” and burn them. I never wanted to think about being a lesbian again.

And finally, “the blissful acceptance.”

It took a while, but I finally believed that a person can have a change of heart. It doesn’t mean that I was wrong or mistaken before; it just means that I’m evolving.

I had known I was a lesbian. I was never so sure about anything in my entire life.

I attended every gay pride parade and drag queen show in California.

I quickly became the spokeswoman for the gay youth in my tiny hometown. I made speeches, I started clubs and support groups; I wanted everyone to feel as comfortable with their sexuality as I did.

As a freshman in high school, I even fought, and somehow survived, the Prop 8 debates.

I was out and I was proud.

I never had a boyfriend before I came out as lesbian. I didn’t need to “try” guys, I knew I loved girls.

It’s rare to find a 13-year-old who is so certain about their identity. But I was gay and nothing could ever change that.

That was the case until a blissfully ignorant boy fell for me.

I’ll never know what caused the switch. Maybe it was lucky timing, maybe a change in hormones or maybe it really is “just a phase.”

Regardless, I knew I was lesbian when I was lesbian and I know I’m straight now that I’m straight.

All I can do is stop wondering why all of this happened and embrace my newfound sexuality.

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