Do you ever wish you could travel back in time and scream at your younger self to open their eyes? When straight people ask me their favorite little question (“when did you know?”), I briefly go catatonic as I contemplate the wonders of time-travel as well as the wonders of a fantasy world where I don’t have to constantly explain and contextualize my queerness for straight people. Then I’ll babble some answer that will shut them up, like, “When I first masturbated to a Jennifer Lopez music video.” The truth is, I always knew, but I also didn’t know. I was a tiny gay idiot, blinded by denial and fear. In retrospect, my queerness was on full display all the time always. I mean, have you seen the photos?! I was so, so bad at pretending to be straight, but also apparently so good at it that I had convinced even myself that it was true!
Alas, I remained oblivious. But looking back, it’s hard to imagine how I — along with everyone I ever encountered — “didn’t know.” I choose to believe I always knew, just under the surface. Now, we can all laugh about it together. Here are the gayest things I did when I still thought I was straight:
- Told my parents I was changing my name to Olivia Newton-John in first grade
- Asked my friend Anna, during recess in second grade, why we couldn’t get married
- Choreographed a dance to Spice Girl’s “2 Become 1” with my best friend Kelsey
- Used my family camcorder to film a scene-by-scene reenactment of the Disney Channel Original Movie Cheetah Girls, as performed by me and my best friend Kelsey (between the two of us, we played every single character)
- Regarded all of my female teachers as goddesses or high priestesses
- Nearly had a heart attack when a group of girls at a middle school party performed a choreographed dance (on chairs?!) to a Kelly Clarkson song
- Had pictures of Topanga Lawrence taped to my bedroom door
- Had pictures of Jennifer Garner in my high school locker
- Started wearing vests because of Jennifer Morrison on House M.D.
- Generally was in love with every famous Jennifer
- Looooooved watching the girls soccer team in middle school…because I was a sports fan, obviously
- Watched The L Word in secret
- Apparently shipped Thirteen and Cuddy on House M.D.?!
- Used my flip phone to text my best friends real-time reactions I had during every episode of Glee’s first season
- Called The Ellen Degeneres Show’s toll-free hotline every day for a year in high school, hoping she would call me back
- Screamed at a boy on the bus in high school for saying Angelina Jolie isn’t pretty (we’re both gay now)
- Watched Ciara’s “Ride” music video almost every day my freshman year of college
- Talked about Alison Brie’s boobs, like, way too much
- Named my cat after a character from the television show Charmed
- Pretended to like The Beatles for a girl
- Wore a lotta gauchos
- Had a lotta frenemies
- Took a girl (who I definitely wanted to be more than friends with) to prom and homecoming AS FRIENDS
- Went to the Hamptons with a boy and secretly made out with his friend Alice at a party
- Formed crushes strictly on boys who were completely unavailable
- Said “I know, right?” when people said they thought I was gay
- Had sex with women
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