I’m From Erie, PA.

by Mikayla B.

Satellite overhead image of Pennsylvania from Google Earth 2022

I spent most of my childhood as a stereotypical tomboy. I did, and still do, have an extreme dislike of wearing anything like dresses or skirts or pretty girly stuff. I played softball, hated dolls, always wrestled with the guys.

As I was getting older, I was never actually interested in boys and male celebrities like my other girl friends were. Whenever they’d go on about how hot said celebrities were, I’d just go with it, saying basically the same things they would. I never really got it.

Because of all this, when I was in seventh grade, my mom just went straight up and asked me, “Do you like girls? Because it’s okay if you do, I have gay friends and I’m completely okay with it.” I said, “No.” At that time, I thought that I was just really tomboy-ish and that eventually I’d “get” what all the other girls seemed to get.

Then, I got into my eighth grade year. It was around Thanksgiving, and I realized I was feeling more than friendship for one of my really good friends. This crush eventually went away, and we’re still great friends to this day.

This, quite honestly, scared the living daylights out of me at first. I spent a lot of days questioning everything, and I’m not ashamed to say I called some of those helplines to have someone to talk to about everything.

After a lot of talking and thinking, I realized I liked girls, and only girls. I told my best friend in the whole world on New Year’s Eve. She took a couple hours to process it, and then she told me that she still loved me and me being a lesbian wouldn’t change that. I broke down into tears after that, so happy that the first person I came out to was so supportive.

Over the next few months, I came out to most of my close friends, and all of them were completely cool. Eventually, by November of that year, having just started my freshman year, I decided that I was ready to come out to my mom.

Even though she’d told me before she didn’t care, it was still nerve-wracking. We sat in my room for what seemed like forever before I finally just spit it out. And she was okay with it. It took her a day to process it afterwards, but she told me she still loved me and it didn’t change that. It was an emotional night for us both.

So fast forward to today. I’m almost done with my sophomore year, and I’m completely out. All my friends know, and I have one of the best support groups I could ask for. About a quarter of these friends came out as gay/bi/lesbian since my freshman year, and all of us, straight friends included, would get on anyone’s case that tried to talk bad about any of us.

My high school is a pretty open place, and I have allies with a few teachers that know that I’m a lesbian, and they would stand up for me if I, or any other student needed.

All in all, realizing who I am, and coming out, hasn’t really changed my life too much in the long run. I’m still the same girl that cries her eyes out when I watch The Notebook, that loves spicy food and my Aeropostale hoodie, hates spiders, and thinks that hugs can help anything. I dream about meeting the perfect girl, getting married, and having a family, just like anyone else. I love who I am, and I wouldn’t change for anyone.

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