On Being Straight-Ish

I dated a girl for the first time when I was a young teenager. It feels weird typing that because our relationship was a secret for the majority of our time spent together. Even still, only my close friends know about that relationship. I met my girlfriend at an all girls’ retreat and fell in love instantly. We started dating the day after we met (yes, seriously) and stayed together for almost a year and a half. She moved to Alabama halfway into our relationship and we decided to try long distance. It worked out amazingly. She would visit for holidays and we were able to spend most of winter and summer vacations together. She was truly the love of my life. We had our issues, but she made me feel like the most important girl in the world. I cherished her and appreciated her immensely.

I broke up with her Sunday after a church service. I grew up in a religious household and while my parents never told me gay marriage was wrong, religious figures from the church pressed that idea into my head. “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” That morning, the pastor was preaching about living in sin. I remember vividly when he said, “Some of you are choosing to live in sin and expecting to go to heaven.” At that time, I had spoken with a woman from my church. She told me that dating a girl was choosing to live in sin. She explained how I knew it was wrong, yet I chose to do it anyway. These two messages from prominent people in my life stood out to me. I felt convicted -- so much so that I broke up with my girlfriend that day after church.

She was devastated. She promised me at the beginning of our relationship that she would never cut again. She cut for the first time in almost two years that night. I felt terrible for breaking her heart. I had no tangible reason for ending our relationship. Our relationship was generally really good and I ended it over some meaningless conviction I felt. She was my first love and I was hers. She texted me on the seventh anniversary of the day we met this past summer and I thought how much that relationship impacted me.  I’m relieved she doesn't harbor animosity towards me and can look at our relationship with a clear head. We had a great time together. She is in love with a new girl who treats her right and I am so happy for her. She deserves all the love in the world and I am grateful she found someone capable of loving her the way she loves others.

My sexuality has been in question ever since. I have always been attracted to girls. Girls are beautiful and have more physical qualities to admire than men. However, after my failed relationship with my ex-girlfriend I never believed I could be with a girl long-term again. I want to have children naturally and I wouldn't be able to achieve that with a woman. I don’t like the stigma associated with same sex couples and I disliked the constant murmurings from people when I was out with public with my girlfriend. And while I have since dated and have had sex with women, I think heteronormative behavior is too ingrained in my psyche to ever be with a woman seriously again. But that doesn't change the fact that I still like them. I am still attracted to them. I still want to date them.

I never considered myself bisexual. I have had sex with more men than women. I prefer men to women. And I’ve only had sex with women during group sex (yes, threesomes) until recently. My closest friend group is entirely queer and they are the ones who told me I was queer. They would always say, “Come on, Jazmyne! You are so queer. You slept with that girl.” My response would always be, “I mean, yeah. But does that even count?” I was reluctant to accept it, but I have come to terms with the fact that I am queer.  I like girls. I like guys. I have sex with both. Sometimes together, sometimes not and that is okay. There is nothing wrong with that. I would always say, when asked of my sexuality, “I like guys, but I dated a girl.” I have since realized how stupid that sounds. Why was I disassociating myself from my queerness as if it was a bad thing? Heterosexuality is the "norm" and I have struggled with coming to terms with who I like.

It has been a challenging road of discovery. I never formally came out and my family doesn't really know I date girls. My friends know I am queer and obviously support me, as they are queer themselves. It’s not information I offer openly, but I don't hide it from people when asked about it. I have to actively stop myself from saying, “I am straight, but I dated a girl," because that is what want my mind wants me to say.

I am currently in an open relationship with a girl and I like her a lot. She is everything I could want in a partner. She is communicative, honest, humble, understanding, and emotionally intelligent. I am still healing from my last relationship and she understands that, so we have left our relationship open for the time being. We both go on dates with other people and keep our options relatively open. I love the boundaries we have established and the openness between us. We don’t plan on getting married or being together forever, and accept our relationship as a seasonal commitment. As more time passes, we get closer and my views on my relationships with women are changing. I always said I could never be with a woman long-term again, but lately that possibility is becoming more and more likely.


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