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Girl Crazy
DeAnna Lyles
headshot

Names have been changed.

When I was around 6 years old, I remember playing house with three of my female friends. I got to be the “mommy.” I woke the “baby” and got her ready for school, while daddy got ready for work. Then daddy—my friend Lucy—kissed me goodbye.

It started out so innocent, but we ended up kissing and groping one another in places that hadn’t even fully developed yet. To us, we were just doing what mommies and daddies did by pretending to have sex. It was fun. This ended up happening every time we played house, which was often.

Looking back, I realize that the way we were pretending to have sex was extremely close to the real thing. I also think that the childhood game of house was my first clue that I might be sexually attracted to females.

Crushing on Girls

As I grew older, I forgot about my past experience with females and developed crushes on guys. But toward the end of 7th grade my curiosity came back, and this time it was stronger.

I developed a huge crush on my closest friend. I thought she was sexy, and I just enjoyed everything about her: the way she dressed, smelled, and even the way she touched me.

I wasn’t sure what it meant. Did it mean I was bisexual? Lesbian? Or did the feelings not mean anything at all?

One thing was for sure: I had it bad for this girl. But since I wasn’t sure exactly what my feelings for her meant, I never acted on them. I just kept it a little secret between me, myself, and I.

My true feelings about girls changed over time. At first I would catch myself thinking, “Oh yeah, she’s cute. She has nice eyes and a lovely shape.” Then it turned into something different. I began to have the desire to kiss their lips and so much more.

It was difficult for me to really accept my feelings. I thought I was supposed to like only boys, but the attraction toward females kept growing stronger.

The more I thought about it, I realized that my happiness shouldn’t be based on the gender of who I was with, but on the love and commitment we could have together. Eventually, I just had to accept that at this point in life, I was what people considered bisexual. I had sexual desires for both males and females.

Coming Out

After I’d accepted that about myself, I wondered whether I should come out to my friends and family. I knew that if I kept it bottled up inside, I wouldn’t be true to myself.

I didn’t want to hide the fact that I was attracted to females, but I wondered whether everybody would judge me if I came out. Would my mother stop loving me? Would my straight friends run from me, thinking I’d try to feel up on them?

I decided to tell my mother. I wanted to confide in her because not only was she my mother, she was and still is the closest thing that I have to a best friend. Her reaction mattered the most to me. Also, before I’d decide to bring a girl home and accidentally get caught kissing her or something, I wanted my mom to be aware and to understand me.

It took me a few weeks to gain the courage to come out to my mother. Finally, the day came. My mom was in her room watching TV. As I approached her, my heart rate increased, sending little speckles of sweat dripping down my face and blurring up my vision.

I was afraid that what I was about to tell her would make her love me less and look at me differently. I knew the world would judge me and discriminate against me, but it would hurt more if my mother did so, too. But it was a risk I was willing to take in order to be true to myself.

As I sat on her bed with her, staring at the TV, I wondered, “How do I tell her? Do I just say it, or do I slowly ease my way into it?” When a commercial came on, I turned to her and explained that there was something I wanted to let her know but I was afraid.

Her expression bloomed with curiosity and worry as her eyes fixated on mine. I told her I wasn’t sure how she was going to react to the news. Her fidgeting warned me that she was starting to grow impatient. So, finally, I just said it: “I like girls and I think I’m bisexual.” I stared at the ground.

An Unexpected Reaction

As soon as the word “bisexual” rolled off my tongue, I heard loud, piercing chuckles from my mother. She was cracking up, with tears in her eyes and everything. As quickly as she started laughing, I started crying. The tears just began falling continuously. When she realized I was crying, nothing seemed to be funny to her anymore. All of a sudden, she seemed really concerned about my feelings.

“Why are you crying? What’s wrong with you? Answer me,” she said to me in a low, sensitive voice, practically whispering.

image by Erika Faye Burke

“I feel like you aren’t taking what I’m saying seriously. The fact that you think it’s a game and you really, like, really laughed in my face…” I couldn’t even get the words out through all my snuffling and tears. I buried my face in my hands while she pulled me to her, embracing me. She rocked me back and forth as she tried to apologize.

‘I Will Always Love You’

“I didn’t think you was for real. I thought that it was all a joke,” she said.

“Well, I was for real. I’ve felt this way about girls for some time, but I wasn’t sure what it meant. And this is exactly why I didn’t want to tell you. I knew you was going to judge me and love me less.”

“You should never think that I would judge you, let alone love you less. I will always love you regardless of whom you choose to love and whatever decisions you make,” she said.

I’ve always known that my mother loved me with all her heart, but to hear her say that at that moment meant a lot. I felt then that we had a tight bond that could never be broken. After that, I felt like I could accomplish anything in the world because I knew she fully supported me in whatever I chose.

Even though it didn’t go exactly as I’d planned, I’m glad I came out to my mom. Looking back, I think that at first my mother just didn’t know what to say or how exactly to react, so her laughing was a way for her to express her uneasiness about the situation.

Sexual Evolution

Soon after, I had my first sexual experience with a female. I met Kate through mutual friends when I was 15 and she was 20. Kate took a liking to me, as I to her.

It wasn’t just an attraction to Kate’s looks, but to the fact that she listened to me when I talked and stared deeply into my eyes. She loved me for me. She never judged me: She comforted me when I was down and made me smile and laugh when I was mad. Even so, she was already dating my friend and, anyway, I thought our age difference was too big. For a long time, we remained just friends.

Then, one night after almost a year of friendship, my mother finally let me spend the night at Kate’s house. (She’d never allowed me to spend the night before because of our huge age difference, but I guess she got tired of listening to me beg and plead all day.)

My mother knew that Kate liked me, and that I liked her a lot as a friend. I wasn’t the only one to spend the night; Kate’s homeboy Jordan, whom she considered her brother, also stayed over. All three of us sat up all night talking, watching movies, and eating mad munchies. It was around 3 o’clock in the morning when Jordan fell asleep on us.

Kate and I continued to talk. Then we began play fighting. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, her hand was there. Yes, down there. I was shocked—even though I’d accepted my sexuality, I wasn’t prepared for actual sexual contact. I put an end to it just as quickly as it started, but I had to admit that I’d enjoyed it.

In fact, the experience with Kate was a true turning point in my life. For a while I still considered myself bisexual, but after that particular moment I focused on my craving for females. The crazy thing is that I had plenty of boyfriends before that night with her, but nothing was the same afterward. My first sexual experience with a female overpowered and washed away my attraction to males.

I don’t know what it was about females that I ended up more attracted to them, but I became disgusted with the idea of kissing and having sex with guys. Eventually, I came to consider myself a lesbian. Although we didn’t make a relationship out of what we shared, I was grateful to Kate for helping me realize my true identity.

Full-Time Lesbian

My new status as a lesbian played out completely differently than I expected. When I had told people that I was bisexual, they thought it was something new and unusual. Then when I began saying I was a lesbian, people’s jaws dropped even more. They couldn’t believe that after I’d been very much in love with boys, I could just stop in an instant. But it was true: I didn’t like boys anymore, only girls.

I know people think that you’re either born gay or you’re born straight. They feel that it’s impossible for a person’s sexuality to change. But I think that no one is going to be the same exact person forever; things about them must and will change.

And that’s what happened to me. I didn’t feel weird about my evolving sexuality, I just felt uncomfortable with the reactions from my home girls and boys at first. The girls judged me, saying that I wanted to feel them up, which wasn’t the case. Then I got the boys saying stuff like, “I’ll turn you back straight.” I just learned to laugh and walk away.

It’s been almost five years since then. Now I’m a full-time lesbian and my world has brightened up. Pretty much everybody who knows me knows that I’m a lesbian and is completely OK with it. My mom still loves me, my close friends accept me, and all the boys are jealous. (I still got a few straight females that think I just might push up on them, though.) I’ve had a few girlfriends, but nothing too serious.

Coming out has made me feel free and open, like I could take over the world if I wanted to. I know a lot of people say “Adam and Eve” is the only right way, and that God made men to be with women, not men with men or women with women. But I believe God created our sexual desires to help each of us find our true love, whatever shape, color, or gender that person may be.

Of course, people will always judge and discriminate, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you love yourself. For anyone out there who is going through the same thing I went through, I’d say the number one rule about sexuality, or anything in life, is to be true to yourself.

Read more stories like this one in Out With It: Gay and Straight Teens Write About Homosexuality.

Related Stories:
Opening Up to My Shorty: A former player discovers it feels good to get close to one person.
Am I Ready for Love?: Hattie wants a romantic relationship but fears getting hurt.

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(NYC-2010-11-26)

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