Navigating Your Sexuality in College

There’s a certain electricity when I catch his eyes across the crowded party. I look away, only to look back a few seconds later to discover he’s still locked on me. It’s thrilling to think about the way running my hands through his hair would feel. I wonder what that tattoo is I can see peeking out of his sleeve. The music is so loud that I’d have to fantasize what his voice would sound like if I were to talk to him. Glancing at me over the rim of his drink, I can see him getting ready to make his move, and I run my hands through my hair in anticipation. Not for his move, but for the one I’m about to make on the brunette next to him. Her hair falls in loose waves down her back. She keeps having to push it out of her face, and I silently thank her for giving me permission to see her incredible eyes. Did she put on that lipstick tonight because she doesn’t want to be kissed, or because she does? And how do I get across that I want to be the one to find out?

Approaching women as an incredibly feminine, barbie-looking bisexual, without fail feels like Russian roulette. Drunk girl culture is all full of supporting random women in bathrooms, telling them how fierce they are, how their outfit is amazing, how beautiful they are. Trying to get across that you mean it in a “you give me butterflies and I would very much like to hold your hand” way rather than the typical “you deserve the world, go get your man” kind of way basically only has a chance of working if you are standing there waving a pride flag and singing Hayley Kiyoko. Then there’s the dilemma in trying to decipher if they’re queer too. Maybe you stalk their Instagram to see what events they go to, who they hang out with, or if they seem to wear a lot of flannel and drink iced coffee even when there’s snow on the ground. Because there have to be signs. The world wouldn’t be so cruel as to make being queer in college harder than it is.



The movies always made it seem like every third woman in college was gay, or was at the least experimenting. Wasn’t there always that one party scene in every college movie with two drunk girls making out while even drunker guys watched and cheered? By no means is that the ideal situation, but I would be lying if I said that sometimes I didn’t think that would be easier. Because we don’t wear signs around our necks as beacons to other women, although I’m fairly certain that every queer woman would appreciate that help. Should I be dressing more butch? Attach pride pins to my backpack? Could those be the signs I give? Unfortunately, I am as heterosexual looking as they come. While I am very happy with how I look, and also very attracted to men, I sometimes wish there was something I could do to convey to the gays of world that I am here as well. I even went to an LGBT meeting for the first time in hopes of meeting new people, and maybe getting more involved in the community. However, coming to college was my first time being openly out, and I’m not always comfortable going to the meetings consistently, although I’m warming up. Should I try dating apps? Is that really the only way that I can meet a nice girl? Is the Cinderella story that I dreamed of as a kid really becoming impossible just because my Prince Charming might be in glass slippers too? I think about those Hallmark movies that I feel like everyone’s parents have on repeat during the holidays. Most would describe them as cliché in the best, most laughable way, but we still watch them. Regardless of the ridiculous meet-cutes or the insane extenuating circumstances that lead to them falling in love, most people on some level can acknowledge that, yes, drinking hot chocolate while listening to Christmas music in our perfect little house at the end of our perfect love story is something that we could enjoy. So, does the fact that there might be a chance that my mailbox might read “Mrs. and Mrs.” really preclude me from getting that same happy ending?

I wish this was the kind of article where I could speak from experience or expertise, but truthfully, I’m still stumbling through this mess of a life much like many of you, and the added stress and excitement of college certainly does not make it any easier. But what gets me through it is picturing that happy ending. Curled up by the fire with her. I always picture a brunette; I’d love to run my hands through her hair. I think about going on dates and drinking iced coffee and listening to Hayley Kiyoko together. So, on the slight, slight chance that she might be that girl, I’m going to go talk to that girl at the party. I’m going to download that dating app and keep looking. I’m going to keep my options open, and not give up just yet. Because what if my person is a she? What if she’s out there? What if she’s looking for me too?


Images: 1(Photo by Yannis Papanastasopoulos on Unsplash), 2 (Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash), 3(Photo by Joe Yates on Unsplash)