I’m From Hagerstown, MD.

by Ashley

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

I don’t know when I first realized that I found girls attractive, but I have for as long as I can remember. I was raised first as a Christian, then a few years as a Quaker, then a few years as a Jehovah’s Witness, then back to Christianity. All of those religions teach that homosexuality is wrong, so that’s what I was raised with.

Even before I was old enough to know what my feelings meant I had a friend named Stephanie who would spend nights at my house or I at hers. We would lay in the dark together, cuddling, kissing and “dry humping” one another. To her it was just “playing” nothing serious but she didn’t know (and still doesn’t) that she was my first love, it was more than “playing” for me but it was “wrong” and I couldn’t voice that. My brothers teased me when she stayed over. “Are you going to make that movie?” “What movie?” “LEZ be Friends!” That added to my being ashamed of what I was feeling so as I got a little older I started seeing guys.

I became very promiscuous, desperately trying to find a man who made me feel what I had felt with Stephanie. I continued trying to be straight, trying to be what I grew up “knowing” I should be. Finally, when I was 20 I decided that I needed to know if being with women is what would make me happy, truly feel complete. I turned to the Internet and found a couple that were looking for a bisexual to join their relationship. I became that woman but only lasted a few months with them because I fell in love with Shanna and I couldn’t stand having to share her. I moved on to the next couple and the next couple after that. I befriended an older lesbian in college, then met a lesbian couple as well. Through those friendships I came into my own and felt more confident about who I was. I finally, at 22 years old, told my family that I am a lesbian. At first it came as a shock to some but as they started thinking back, it all made sense to them and they knew before I was ready to admit it. Still, my family doesn’t speak of my sexuality often, my father only speaks of it when he’s been drinking. It still hurts to know that they don’t fully accept me, but I’m me and will always be me!

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