When You Knew You Were a Lesbian: Your True Stories & Tweets

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.

Dormitory Women lesbian lit“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!dotted-divider2
“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

Gay Reunion Pulp Fiction“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!!!!” —@tlksoupgrldotted-divider2


“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.”

dotted-divider2“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


Melody: westboropicture

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

eliza_dushku“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 but_im_a_cheerleader_02

“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.
gia“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.”

dotted-divider2“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.nooley.truth

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.louploup_by_gloria_anielasmaller

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.


felicity“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.
mariska“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.”

xdebutofabelatedlesbian“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” –@ms_anne_thropy

“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” –@pdubeu

“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.” —@jamrockssxdesigningdame

“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.
(picture, right)@hilaribombs21859809

http://twitpic.com/d0n0p watch the shaved head and the fact I wanted to bring home that dog” —@daphne_duck

“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.”dotted-divider2

leightonblake2“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” —@wwlaw1

“when this boy called joe showed me his willy” —@moonkiller

“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

Mara Bodis Wollner_locker room


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.

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    • This was such a great read! I’ve really enjoyed reading so many other stories this week.. I hadn’t really sat back and considered my ‘when i knew’ before this, but I am really glad that I did! Thanks Autostraddle!

  1. I’ve been following the #wheniknew updates on twitter all week so this is about the 5 millionth time I’ve read through them. It’s funny/awesome how many I read and thought “Oh yeah! Me too!” It’s also funny how many I ended up posting.. And by “funny” I mean “maybe I went a little overboard but hey! it led to me finding that ridiculously lol-worthy picture from the height of my tomboyhood.”

    ANYWAY! Everyone is amazing! I love you all for sharing your stories. Thank you! Happyface.

  2. Loved this. Glad to see me up there too :)

    I’ve been really loving reading ‘When You Knew’.

  3. Wow I didn’t think mine would make it. I loved reading through all of these! I’m so glad I’m not the only one who knew because of Xena :)

  4. ohmygoodness. everyone is so gay. I liked Bee’s little story – but, i don’t like real bees.

  5. I love how so many of these (including my mine) involve the media, and also the internet. It speaks to the whole idea behind Autostraddle, and why it’s important to have communities like this.

  6. so funny and truthful all of you. Melody: taking on the Westbro Baptist Church? I admire you so much.

    How did you guys choose a winner and who won?

    • We’re gonna pick our favorite tweet for tomorrow, and the stories we’re just gonna pick two at random. We felt weird about being judgey of people’s true stories! So I’ll probs put everyone on a numbered list and email my brother and ask him to pick two numbers at random, as I generally do for such occasions when no-one is here to draw out of a hat with me.

      • i still think you’re a total badass. keep doing what you’re doing trooper. the intern army will come bust you out of jesus camp.

  7. So basically if it wasn’t for hot girls kissing/being awesome on television, we’d all still be straight is the lesson we should take from this, right? Heh.

  8. I just want to thank Autostraddle and everyone who shared their “When I Knew” stories. This project made me reflect on when I knew but didn’t realize at the time (Girl Scout camp) and when I finally admitted it to myself (after watching “Loving Annabelle” for about the 10th time). Thank you!

    • Isn’t it sort of funny to look back now and realize, ‘Man, I was so gay back then, how didn’t I realize it?!’ :D

  9. i’m amazed by how many times that T.A.T.U. song was mentioned. just goes to show that the importance of gay content in mainstream media really can’t be understated.

    thanks for sharing everyone! it’s neat to see the all the similarities and differences in the stories. i meant to write in but couldn’t make the deadline: i was 15 and caroline put her head on my shoulder in the van ride to mount washington with my outdoor ed class. suddenly my entire life made startling and irrefutable sense. i’m 26 and i’ve still got a soft spot for her.

    omg i just realized she’s like my MAKER.

  10. I really loved reading this. It’s really interesting that so many people had their a-ha moment by way of the media. For me, it was totally easy to brush off my fixation on a camp counselor with an alternative lifestyle haircut, but it was not so easy to justify staying up until 3 am watching videos of Marissa/Alex making out on the OC.

  11. Great read! It’s funny how the same celebrities keep popping up. Aside from their obvious hotness, I wonder why Angelina, Eliza, Gwen, etc are a common denominator for lots of Autostraddle readers/commentators?

    I find closeted women tend to be drawn to other women with an air of bisexuality/lesbianism – that combined sense of sensuality, independence and “otherness”? Either way, since coming out, it’s astonishing how flirty and curious my straight friends have become… anyone else finding this?

    • I dunno about Eliza or Gwen, but I think that Angelina’s appeal is that she has always been incredibly unapolagetic about her sexuality and sex in general. In interviews she was never afraid to be totally candid and even vulgar about her relationships, and even before becoming the superstar she is today she wasn’t afraid to be bisexual or to have a girlfriend (jenny shimizu) when it wasn’t as accepted as it is now.

      Also; even though it wasn’t that long ago it was still a time when people thought that lesbians were just women who couldn’t get a man. So for the most beautiful woman alive to get a girlfriend was pretty gutsy and probs made a lot of people realize how wrong they were to make that assumption/judgment of lesbians.

      1. played a lesbian in Gia with hot lesbian sex scenes
      2. her androgynous look in Hackers! so hot!
      3. played a bad-ass leather-clad lesbian in girl-gang movie Foxfire (I actually can’t remember if it was explicitly clear that she was a lesbian in that movie or not, but I know that she was supposed to be from the books)
      4. Including Girl Interrupted , most of her 90s movies were girl classics where she seemed at least a little lesbionic. She didn’t start really playing a romantic lead with a male love interest regularly until recently.

      True she’s fully married to Brad Pitt now, but she hasn’t redacted her bisexuality as others often do (cough *pink*) when they marry a man.

      • I completely agree with you riese. While I don’t believe in the phrase ‘turning out’. You are the way you are no one can change it or turn it. I do believe someone or something can bring it out or make you realize.
        There is something about AJ that draws you in, you can’t boil it down to one thing. Even people who hate her can’t help looking at her pages and stuff.
        And to have this woman be herself which is inspiring, being bisexual regardless of what people thought, the impact on her career, etc. It is admirable. Then on top of her being her, LOOK at her! Geez

  12. Loved this!
    I think it’s hysterical that T.V characters had so much to do with our awakenings!!
    I have to say that the Marissa/Alex kiss on the beach on The OC did it for me. I can remember my stomach did flip flops when I saw that and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I then went and bought The OC season 2 dvd and I think I probably burnt it out rewatching their scenes together. Such a gay!! And too think I still didn’t admit it to myself for a while after that!!

  13. i’d also like to give shout outs to DJ on full House, six on blossom, darlene on roseanne, busy on ready or not, joey on dawson’s creek, and neve campbell on party of five for all contributing to my early childhood education.

  14. Thank you so much, AS, for allowing us all to express ourselves and have this conversation with other girls like us. I was happy to see that not only could girls relate to each other’s stories, but some girls who have not come out yet could feel a bit safer because we all went through it and survived.

    I am so happy that my future children, and future generations, will have places like this to turn to when they are uncertain about their sexuality and the feelings they are having. I do hope that at some point it will feel less awkward to love a woman, and that girls will embrace their true selves earlier and with less anguish.

    Just think of how many girls Shane brought an “aha” moment to! (That was my media moment)

  15. “I think it’s hysterical that T.V characters had so much to do with our awakenings!!” – Kat

    It IS funny how that seems to work… but it also makes sense. Celebrities are unattainable objects of desire – allowing people to work out their own sexual preferences and desires without any sort of real impact on their lives. For me – for a long time – those crushes were a way of separating my sexuality from my life. And it’s probably no wonder that the first real woman I allowed myself to feel attracted to came along when my life was radically different and our relationship didn’t overlap with anything that was familiar/comfortable. (—“Meredith”, above). Anyway, back to the celebs (who are probs faaar more interesting to most people)… Ang is hot, like riese said, because of her overt sexuality/androgyny/anything-goes mentality. Same for Shane/KM. It makes them appealing to a wide array of people.

    –LOVE this website and I’m pulling for team Autostraddle. I think you have an awesome mix of gossipy/fun features and really important articles. Keep ’em coming!

    –The time-stamps are trippy!!! (or maybe it’s just me)

  16. Thanks again for all the “When I Knew” segments! It’s really enlightening to hear everyone’s stories. How similar/different they are, yaknowwhatimean. It’s nice to relate. Seems like the media has helped everyone out, at least a little… Thanks for the fuel in my self-reflection pool. Word.

  17. I totally wasn’t expecting my story to be on here. I’m glad it was though because it made me really think about when I knew, and I’d never tried to figure out the moment before. Thanks!

  18. Ha! I made it.

    I’ve found it hilarious that you’ve been using the pulp novel pics as design elements. I was out w/ the lady in Greenwich Village, passed a stand FILLED with those in postcard form and nearly bought a mixed-and-matched set to give to y’all, but didn’t know when I’d see you next. She’ll back me up on this. I 100 percent swear.

  19. I just found this! Soo happy that I did!!! At first, I though I was probably just bisexual.. But now, after really thinking about it, I’m pretty damn sure I’m a les, and I’m soo damn happy about it!!! :D :D
    ps. autostraddle is my fav site. I think I’m on here more then anything else

  20. …I always had little inclinations and crushes that I loved girls in that way… But X-Men 3 with Omahyra Mota as Arclight really sealed the deal. The way she walked with her hips swinging and that seductive face….

  21. I knew I was bi when I was 13 and we put on a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream at my all-girls high school. I was insanely jealous of the girl playing Helena because she got to flirt with the gorgeous girl playin Demetrius… Later when she gave me a “butterfly kiss” on my hand I pretty much died.

  22. “when i started playing rugby (srly the amount of straight girls that sport turns…)” –@azhwing

    Oh my God! Me too! I started playing rugby in the fall, and not even a month later, had my first girl crush.

  23. After our yearly checkups, when the receptionist asked my sister (then 5) and me (then 7) what we wanted to be when we grew up, my sister responded, “I don’t know, but my sister wants to be a boy when she grows up!”

  24. When I figured it out: Watching The L-Word for the first time in my feminist & queer theory class.

    When I should have figured it out: When I was a little girl and I never understood why my peers went gaga over celebrity guys. Guys were boring. Girls were the ones who were pretty! Being a bisexual, I “discovered” guys when I hit puberty (which is why it took me so long to come out – I thought the lack of interest in boys before puberty was normal) but my love for the same sex was always there.

    Also should have figured it out when I developed a crush on a girl in my math class when I was 13. She was the only one (at least the only one I remember) before college, though, so I managed to convince myself when I was in high school and boy-crazy that I just “really, really wanted to be her friend” or something. Yeah, not true.

  25. Also, right after I came out I had all these light-bulb moments which made me realize I’d liked girls all along, even if I hadn’t developed as many full-blown crushes on them as boys.

    Like, why was I so fascinated by the popular girls and cheerleaders, even though on a logical level I knew they were stupid, popularity was stupid and I’d rather stay a geek? And why was I so bothered when one of the gawky, mean popular boys would go out with a really gorgeous popular girl? Now I know!

  26. I knew I loved girls when I always played the “father” during pretend because I got to touch my “wife” and not have it be weird :)

  27. I knew I was gay when my teacher had my class line up; I always stood behind this one girl, she always wore bows and fluffy dresses, well it was the 3rd grade.

  28. I always seemed to know because I was always attracted to whatever pretty girl was on the TV, in picture books wherever.

    My mom (who is bisexual) said she knew for sure when she came downstairs on a Saturday morning and I was watching the little mermaid while rolling around naked on the floor holding my Ariel doll saying “Ariel I love you” over and over again…..btw she totally embarrassed me by telling that story in front of all my cousins at a family gathering when I was 12…it took me about a year before I could look my cousins in the eye again…..

  29. When I listened to a spoken word performance by a queer poet about a beautiful bare-legged girl on a bike and I looked across the audience at my then girl-crush and realized holy shit, THAT’S why I love it when she wears skirts.

    When I obsessively watched Xena at age eight.

    When I made a tally of female and male classmates I considered attractive…and the girls’ tally was far longer than the boys’ side.

    When I kissed a guy on a dare but spent the whole night wanting to kiss her instead.

  30. When, I still have no idea how it happened, accidentally put my hand up another girls shirt. That puts me at 7 or 6 years old.

  31. When I figured it out: watching the Phantom of the Opera movie at age fourteen and realizing I wanted to kiss Emmy Rossum

    When I should have figured it out: when I was eight years old, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and having a crush on Deanna Troi. And then when I was nine I had a crush on Shego, from Kim Possible.

  32. This was so perfect. The comment about Eliza Dushku swaggering into the gym in Bring It On. Accuracy beyond measure. Or maybe it was that time I made too-long eye contact with this mesmerizing girl and we kissed 2 weeks later on a youth group mission trip. Oops.

  33. When i found out this chick in my new school was gay and my brain just went holy shit i can do that?

  34. When I saw Olivia Wilde on The O.C. – I love that Marissa/Alex is someone else’s story too!

    I knew right when it aired on TV in 2005, denied it for a very long time, and then finally came to terms with it while rewatching the series for the first time since with my best friend just this year.

  35. when i was 13 and my friend who was 16 pinned me to a wall and kissed me with passion and i kissed her back! thinking “she’s so sexy…” then i thought..”duh!”

  36. when this girl transferred to my university this semester and I couldn’t (and can’t) help the FAT crush I have on her, oh man…
    I’ve been trying to ignore my gayness for years…only hand platonic friends that I secretly checked out and had never met a girl who I had romantic feelings…until now. and now the gayness that I’ve never spoken a word about to anyone is popping up at 20 years old and going, hey! notice me! and this girl is making it hard not to notice…

  37. I just signed up just to tell you how much this article helped, reading all those different stories.

    I only realized it after a drunken kiss with a straight friend on my birthday. It only lasted for like 2 seconds, but it changed everything for me.

  38. I had always ignored that I only liked to look at girls as a respecting beauty sort of a thing, but I first knew for sure when I cut and squeezed a lemon, running my finger along the two sides of the rhine that came together to wipe off the rest of the juice. It oddly turned me on, and in a very serious way.


    I knew when my friend Kirsten asked me if I wanted to see a sexy picture of her topless that she had taken but had nobody to show it off to. I had left my (first, last and only) boyfriend shortly after and haven’t even considered dating men since.

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