When did you know you were a lesbian (or bisexual or queer or otherwised inclined)? We asked you to tell us in 140 characters or less and for those of you with longer stories to tell, we asked you to email wheniknew at gmail dotcom and tell us in 400 words or less how it all went down (get it? Going down? HAHAH!).
So here’s little bits of some of your stories and all of your tweets … you’re all very funny.
“when i wanted to be Eileen’s cello.” —@chattyxkathy
“Every year in college I’d see signs for Nat’l Coming Out Day, and look deep within my heart, and say, Nope, not yet” —@jamiealyse
“pretty much when i wanted xena and gabby together. and then of course, the first heavy non-innocent girl-crush”–@ally krawietz
“When I saw a woman kiss my friend and realized I was jealous. Weeks later, I kissed my friend and felt much better.” —@uppoppedafox
“when that viper marina kissed me in the bathroom at bette and tina’s lovely party.” from JENNIFER SCHECTER!
“I knew (fo sho) at the ripe age of 18, when I kissed a girl playing the drunk version of spin the bottle @ 4:00AM.” —@justjesh
“was when my friend’s gay mom looked at me and said “I know honey, and it’s okay.” I finally realised with calm.” —@lasthonestlook
“Eliza Dushku swaggering into the gym in Bring it On” —@missapplepants
When I was 13 years old and I saw Gwen Stefani doing push-ups in the video for “Just a Girl”. Just saw her in concert and damn, can she still do push-ups!
“when I was 17 after having a very nice dream – I finally understood why I didn’t have any crushes on boys” —@cycnet
“watching the rescue rangers” —@kanorris
“I’ve always been sort of a tomboy but when my brother called me a lesbian, THAT was a blow. In my barely teenage years this most exotic term was akin to being called a geek (which I was, but that’s another story). That night I couldn’t rest for thinking about what my brother had said… could he be right? I mean, it WOULD explain why I wasn’t gushing about what a hottie Matthew was and how I really hoped that Jake would ask me to the Snowball. And why I wanted to marry a girl in the Third Grade. And also why I wanted to marry my First Grade teacher (a woman) …”
“when i was in grade school in mexico,my bff & i would hold hands.i couldn’t wait to see her just to hold hands lol” —@posdata
“srsly, the tatu video for all the things she said – and how the lyrics resonated with my own life situation.” —@lasthonestlook
“when I crushed on my nursery school teacher’s aide.” —@gigles13
“the first time i saw the l word i admitted it to myself. i was 16 :)” —@colby33
“when I saw Shane and Carmen play “too hot”… that cleared things up for me”–@namezne
“when paige&alex became my fave couple on degrassi. When I first saw spashley lol” —@radseed
“I was 7 when I saw Lucy Lawless playing Xena. Her costume made me jealous that Gabriella was her “friend” & not me!” —@karmapoetica
“2 hubs,1 mean, 1 drunk, left both, living alone, my 45th BD party,1 cute butch, lite bulb, 7 yrs later STILL HAPPY!” —@ealah
“when I met this girl and my heart did flip flops, like it used to do for boys!!!!” —@tlksoupgrl
“One night, after five shots and running down our ‘top ten dumbass boyfriend moments’, Mary looked right into my eyes, got super quiet and kissed me … I’d never kissed or consciously contemplated kissing another woman before, but everything made sense in that moment. My whole life flashed before my eyes, only this time it was filled with the previously ignored moments when the universe told me I was gay: flashes of Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2, Elisabeth Shue in Adventures in Babysitting, Alyssa Milano in anything, the Pink Power Ranger, Buffy, Buffy, Willow, Faith, Buffy, Faith, Buffy, Joey Potter.”
“I was watching her brush her hair. In a tight white tshirt” —@icee
“Past bedtime, so hid under my covers with portable TV to watch Ellen come out. Broken antenna, everyone was green” —@superneva
“I was kissed by a woman I was 17 and thought, “Oh.. so THIS is what it’s supposed to feel like.” Then I cried.” —@cathytown
“All my friends crooned over Dimitri, but *I* wanted Anastasia…guess that puts me at 7 yrs old? Sounds about right!” ––@jellyfeltz
“at my first middle school dance where I was staring at the girls instead of the boys.” —@soapboxx
Homophobia is everywhere here in Kansas and if you care even a little bit about your name and status you better not be one of those lesbos. Even after childhood crushes on various female celebs, following TLW online recaps & Autostraddle & making out with my best friend in a dark hallway after prom, I wouldn’t accept it.
Until, that is, a small group of protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church showed up to my family’s church to protest the church allowing the LGBT community come worship there (while still preaching against homosexuality, mind you). The WBC group had their GOD HATES FAGS’ signs and I stood there with an anger so deep I nearly threw up. Suddenly I grabbed a sharpie and stood in front of their signs with my own: I’M GAY AND YOUR G-D CAN SUCK IT.”
Suddenly I grabbed a sharpie and stood in front of their signs with my own: I’M GAY AND YOUR G-D CAN SUCK IT.
I’m 17, openly and proudly gay, being sent to a Christian counseling Center by my parents. Yet all is well because in the summer of 2009 I decdied to be 100% myself; a gaymo.”
“When I saw the Jessie and Katie kiss on Once and Again and my first thought was awesome.” —@caliali31
“Standing on the field at school, was about 12 and had this light bulb go off that I had no interest in boys.” —@streetcarchron
“what about eliza’s new outfits montage in ‘the new guy’? that would’ve made me gay, probs” —@bkboy
“1995, the culmination of Angelina Jolie in Hackers and Gillian Anderson as Scully & both of them saying ‘love is love’.” —@hopeduckie
“when i started playing rugby (srly the amount of straight girls that sport turns…)” —@azhwing
“Abated suffering through mandatory endurance jogs in gym class, because it meant I could watch her calves.” —@caitlinmae
“when it was a good nervous instead of a bad nervous” —@mindymunizaga
“when she kissed me back!” —@kimbus2000
“I was engaged to a man for four months while also talking to the girl I liked & hanging out with her every day. As the wedding plans got underway; I started getting scared – so one night when she was sleeping over and she was tossing and turning and wanted to go to the couch ’cause she couldn’t sleep with me, I knew that was my moment … there had been close calls before but nothing had ever happened, and I needed to know if my dream girl would finally be mine. I looked at her. We kissed. It was the best night of my life. Two years later we’re still together and still as in love as we were that night.”
“hah, when i fantasized about making out with baby spice.” —@saintmodesto
“Clea Duvall putting that errant piece of hair behind her ear 90 times in “but i’m a cheerleader” was #wheniknew” —@lexmarksthespot
“when I 1st saw a SoN commercial & wished there weren’t other ppl in the room. I acted like it was dumb but I was SO INTRIGUED.” —@jackson_lyanne
“when at 23, long after i’d grown out of celeb crushes, i made a Shane Collage in my journal.” —@autowin
“I never *didn’t* know it. Had to realize some others weren’t!” —@jen_hintz
I grew up in rural Ireland & attended an all girls catholic secondary school run by the sisters of mercy … When, towards the end of my first year my transition year group put on an all girl rendition of Grease, I must’ve gone to that play a hundred times to “support my friends’ older sisters” and “really really liking musicals.” When I overheard a couple of people from another school saying “that guy is really hot,” about the girl playing Doodie, I thought to myself; “yes. she really is.” Lightbulb. I was 11, and that’s when I knew.
“or at least started to know was when I realized how many angelina jolie movies i owned/loved, even the bad ones ;)” —@ellib
“when my very attractive boyfriend told me how he loved me and I kept wishing he was the hostess at Chop House.” —@hnicole_09
“a vhs tape of michelle pfieffer in grease two. one else likes that version better than the original. ” —@dk9811a
“Of course, it was the taste of cherry chapstick that set everything in motion. She kissed me and backed me into a maze of soul-scorching, teenage infatuation, lesbian pop culture and deleted internet history.”
“When I could no longer lie to my long-distance fundamentalist Christian boyfriend in Kansas.” —@suzzzanna
“When Eliza Dushku wore leather pants on Buffy the Vampire Slayer” —@lol_a
“When I found myself going to the cinemas to watch Spice World every weekend” —@disappear_here
Meredith: Actually Found Real Love on OurChart!
So this little coming out narrative covers roughly 4 stages.
1) Signs I was your typical tree-climbing, grass-stain wearing tomboy (surprise!). I disliked skirts but I was not especially opposed to wearing them. Parents and teachers loved me. I loved their approval. I collected magazines and made crude ŒPaint-generated computer wallpaper with Leo, Brad and Ethan. Sure there were female celebrities I lusted after (Gwyneth and Angelina), but lots of my girlfriends coveted those magazine covers too. I just ignored the distinction between wanting to ‘be’ and ‘be with’. I opted for a wholesome (and mostly sexless) high school and early college experience.
2) Ignorance – At some point during my sophomore year the following things happened: I ditched a heinous bowl cut, grew into my lanky, awkward frame, started hitting the bottle and dating boys. I kissed them. Climbed into bed with them. But when they got too close, I bolted. They were left confused (and blue-balled). I felt guilty but didn’t care enough to figure out why. I had good grades, lots of friends, athletic success, admiration. All-in-all, I was exceptionally distracted and terribly lonely.
3) Light/Darkness Then I went abroad and fell, hard. We were two American girls navigating damp, downtown London. Inseparable. Our friends joked that we made a cute couple and we played one at the bars when unwanted callers came calling. She;s a fantastic actress. It wasn’t a big stretch of the imagination for me. Some nights we slept together, holding hands and sharing secrets. But nothing else ever happened. When I left for the U.S., we cried. It took 2 years for me to fall out of love with her.
4) Darkness/Light I worked non-stop, watching dispassionately as weight fell off and I curled into myself. I fought with my friends and missed out on much of senior year. After graduation, I went home and got a (great) job. I started getting better. And then, I met someone else… online (at OurChart no less. It’s somewhat nauseating to admit that I owe Chaiken). We were friends first but I knew I loved her from the start. A torrent of stomach-turning e-mails, texts and light-headed phone calls ensued. I grew brave and bold. I told my parents I was in love — and with a woman. Deal (please). I didn’t need sex to solidify that feeling. But it did. Many times over. I moved across the country to be with her. For 2.5 years we’ve only been getting closer.
At 16 I was involved with a 25-year-old married-with-two-kids woman. Oh, the internet. We lived 500 miles apart but we’d visit each other. Everyone thought it was strange but I was too in love to care. I also tried to convince myself that whenever it ended I’d never be with another woman, I was just a girl who happened to fall in love with her best friend which happens all the time, right? I was raised Christian so there were a lot of strict barriers on my feelings.
We were still together in the summer of ’02 when T.A.T.U‘s “All the Things She Said” came out. I remember hearing the song and thinking about her – how the lyrics mirrored so much the feelings that I had. It was like every line of the song was pulled out of my chest and was covered in her name. The first time I saw the video for it, my mom was standing in the room with me. When they kissed, my mom’s jaw dropped and she gave me a shocked look. I shrugged, saying I didn’t know, but inside I felt like finally everything made sense … just because the lesbian thing was an act for them, it sure wasn’t for me. And that’s okay because who knows how much longer it would’ve taken if they hadn’t made out in the rain.
“when i realized i don’t want a husband.. i want a wife” —@maryamd
“when I had a dream I made out with Cher and woke up wishing it was real.” —@lovemadesweet
“I knew when our sleepovers stopped involving actual sleep” —@brendog
“i knew when i kissed my first girl & there was fireworks…or when i stepped inside home depot and realized it was mecca” —@formannn
“when everyone was all “Ben or Noel??” and all I cared about was Felicity”– @mp4porter
At 18 when I kissed a girl and felt quite literally like the air had been sucked from my chest, I slid back the door, dusted myself off, and apologized for being late.
“when I started having conversations with the guy I liked fully dedicated to how much we wanted Jennifer Morrison” —@hilaribombs
“I wished seasons 2-4 of SVU were on, realized I wanted to oogle butch Benson. First O/A fic solidified it for me” —@plasticCA
“at 13 i could not stop looking at all those legsss in school,” from snakessnakes.
I was attracted to girls was when I was 5, but I didn’t want to admit I was a lesbian until I was 17!” —@thiswaythatway
At a bar in Denmark, where I was studying abroad, during my junior year of college this guy was all over me and twenty minutes and a few tequilla shots later I was making out with him, thinking “I’ve been kissed by so many more girls than boys,” and how every time a boy kissed me it was so BLAND. A lightbulb went off and mid-kiss I pushed him away, walked over to my group of (straight) friends and said, “Guys, I think I’m gay.”
“When I thought my second grade teacher was hot and so was the girl next to me” —@snp90
“when i caught myself fantasizing about my 9th grade civics teacher. but i denied/put it off til after highschool” —@jsimsgirl
“When all I did in my 8th grade english class was stare at this one girl’s chest…” —@hilaribombs
“i was 10 & @ the end of recess i was looking at the girl in line in front of me thinking: god she has a nice ass” ––@posdata0
“when i realized i always got jealous of the phantom in phantom of the opera when Christine laid one on him” —@alexi melvin
“probably the first time I got autostaddled by a girl…which wasn’t too long go.” —@hheeiiddii
“when I saw Panic Room and wanted so much to be best friends with Kristen Stewart’s character.” —@hilaribombs
As a teenager I saw The L Word and Queer as Folk and was in awe of this different world that seemed beautiful and fun. They seemed like my people and didn’t care what other people thought … The moment I knew I was completely gay — no turning back — was lying in bed after being intimate with the first woman I was in love wth. I’d never felt so beautiful and so like myself.
“when Kristen Stewart was in my dream last night and I liked it” —@jackson_lynne
“when we played pretend as kids, i always pretended to be a boy bc i liked having gfs and wives” ––@posdata1
“When I met steph and she wouldn’t let me link arms with her in the cold, that’s #wheniknew. Hahah I hope she never reads this.” —@jamrockss
“I suspected for a long time. Then I knew it, when I first made love to a woman I was in love with” —@befani
“COULD have been that time I dated a super sweet, super attractive guy for 2 years but refused to sleep with him?” —@kimbus2000
“At the Reba McEntire concert (94ish) when she was crying over him and I was crying because she was crying over him” —@brendog
“My 1st kiss was a girl in the 8th grade.I always was attracted to girls. It was normal & just happened.” —@jeniheartsgirls i also heart girls
“10gr Eng class I let a pretty girl draw a beard on me w/eyeliner. She said, “If you where a guy I’d date you.” sigh” —@chrustine rocket
Looking back, maybe I knew at least a little bit when I was incredibly sad and jealous that my then-best-friend Kaitlin moved out of our (platonically?) shared bed and into a new place with her boyfriend. I probably knew a little bit more when I started trying to plan my spin-the-bottle spins to land on all girls and no boys. I definitely knew the first time I kissed a girl without ten drinks in me and my head/heart nearly exploded.
“we laughed, wept & slept together in a london fog. she stayed. straight. i left… heart-broken for 2 years. that’s #wheniknew” —@bobdrinks riese drinks too
“then a beautiful stranger came along-i moved 100s of miles for sunshine & bliss (down South), that’s #wheniknew to embrace it.” also from@bobdrinks
“In 2002 I accidentally kised the girl on the lips. We went on through four great years of ups and downs and heartbreaks and steamy nights, but we ended up on different paths. I guess she’s bi, ’cause next month she’s gtting married, but I have my own world. But that sunny afternoon in 2002 is my ‘gay-i-versary.”
“day1: i was born… seriously, that’s as far back as i can possibly imagine i knew. i always knew!” —@yvetteloera
“When I wanted to be the icecream cone when the Blake and Leighton cover RS came out” —@caliali31
“when society told me girls were supposed to like boys and i definitely did not, i figured something was up” —@lamecasper
“At Jesus Camp when I was 9, I wanted my counselor, Candace, to sleep in my bunk.” ––@gunxshyxx
It would’ve taken a lot longer to figure things out had I not seen the trailer for this new smokin’ hot series on Showtime. When I got back to Paris I computer searched “The L Word” and the world of gay goodness opened up for me. I started reading blogs from the Parisian queer scene — photographers, DJs — I knew I wanted to be a part of that world. So when a girl on the street approached me about donating to an AIDS research organization and I recognized her from the blog I’d been reading for six months … I knew her favorite song, that she’d just broken someone’s heart, I knew who she’d slept with … and I said nothing. But a few weeks later I was bringing this queer burlesque & drag king back to my apartment. It just felt right. At that point, je savais.”
“when I realized I had more “girlcrushes” than crushes on actual boys” —@posdata2
“when this boy called joe showed me his willy” —@posdata3
“her: “i’m bisexual” me: “what’s that” her: “i like boys and girls” me: “i think i’m that” her: “no you’re straight”” —@ellencassidy
March 29th, 2005: when Marrisa and Alex’s first kiss on The O.C aired in the UK. Something clicked in my head, I was just so obviously gay. Within the next year Sugar Rush started airing, I discovered The L Word and I met my first girlfriend at the KT Turnstall gig — I was 16, she was 19. I walked into class the next day and told my friend I couldn’t date my boyfriend of seven months anymore. She barely blinked.
“When we played ‘house’ in daycare I was always the husband. Damn those desperate housewives.” ––@cillyria
“Earworm: “Sweet Child O’Mine.” She walked past. My heart pounded. Suddenly, the song was about her.” —@quantumelody
When seventh grade co-ed PE became girl’s athletics, I was the only one of my friends not devastated that the boys would now learn separately.
This is when I knew.