Bette and Tina saved my life – An open thank you letter to Jennifer Beals and Laurel Holloman
I first knew that I was a lesbian when I was around 12 years old.
As the conversation around boyfriends and sex started to pique interest amongst my female peers, I felt like a total outsider.
I didn’t understand why, despite trying, that boys didn’t interest me. It was only when I thought about this at length that the reason behind this lack of interest became glaringly clear.
I’d always been fascinated by women- naturally drawn to them- but until this moment I hadn’t accepted that my feelings surpassed innocent admiration.
I fancied girls. As the realisation dawned on me, I could immediately feel a heavy weight pressing down on my shoulders. Homophobia was openly entrenched in the beliefs of my peers. The narrative that queer people were something to be mocked and humiliated surrounded me.
School desks were etched with the names of other queer students, accompanied by an array of slurs and hurtful “jokes”. The thought that my name could be next instilled in me a paralysing fear.
As the months progressed I tried with every inch of my being to push my queerness away. But as it became increasingly clear that it wouldn’t go away, only a desperate sadness grew. I became more and more insular until, one day in science class, I began to sob uncontrollably.
As my closest friend led me to a quiet spot and begged me to tell her what was wrong, it spilled out of my mouth- “I think I like girls. I think I’m a lesbian.” The relief that I felt in that moment would soon be replaced with the devastation of everything that I feared coming true... READ MORE AT My Very Queer Life
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