DISCLAIMER: I am speaking from my experience alone. Not everyone will have the same experience as me and it is not encouraged to treat this as a generalization.
When we are young, we are presented with the ultimate goal of love — marriage between a man and woman. It was fundamental for a young lady to meet the man of her dreams and ride away with him into the sunset. I was no stranger to the concept, having watched my share of Disney tales and read countless princess books. It was a “natural” progression of life — I too would find a fated prince to my princess and live happily ever after.
Or so I believed.
Being used to an institutional practice doesn’t necessarily mean I was comfortable with it. There was always something that ate at me whenever someone fantasized about my future husband. Something dormant and uncomfortable; something that suggested that this was not meant to be my “natural” progression in life. When I watched “Lilo and Stitch” for the 50th time, it was not David who caught my attention, but Nani. When the “Cheetah Girls” became my latest obsession, Chanel was my “girl crush,” and every time the actress guest-starred in “That’s So Raven,” I would be eager to tune in just to see her.
Rather than the thought of a husband, the thought of a wife was much more prominent in my head in ways that was honestly unbelievable to my childish head.
“Just wait ‘til you have a husband! You’ll understand!” But that was the issue: What if I didn’t want a husband? What if I didn’t want to understand? What if, for a second, I wasn’t attracted to men? It was terrifying to think about as a child — the thought that I was anything outside of heterosexual. Due to being raised to believe that anything outside of blatant heterosexuality was “sinful” or disgusting, I felt as if I was being punished for being an imperfect creation, something that was a mistake and had to be corrected in some manner that restored me to heteronormativity.
I could not accept that I was attracted to women. I did everything in my power to hide it and bury it — suppress it to the point of fading. This was not the “natural” way in which I had been taught. Defying the “natural” order of things was unheard of to me, and there was no way I could ever tussle with such a powerful force.
This internalized lesbophobia (and biphobia) drove me to the brink of death.
I struggled constantly with my own self, pushing myself to depths of my own hatred that I never want to experience again. The obsession with maintaining heteronormative roles, especially on young kids, is mentally damaging. Instead of embracing my attraction for women, I was forced to fight it early in my youth, over something as subjective as what is considered “natural.” Rather than accept that I found my best friend pretty, or ponder why I found most guys unattractive, I settled that there was an error in me. It roped me into being someone I never was and now who I never hope to be again.
I do not like hiding who I am anymore. I spent too many years loathing my own sexuality for myself to be silenced anymore. When people say, “Why does everything you create have to be gay?” it is because everything was heterosexual to me. Intrusive heterosexuality taught me that I was created wrong, and nothing is more insulting than insinuating that the rising representation of LGBTQ+ people in media is somehow more destructive than that. I want the world to know that we exist out there — that women can love women without any fear of repercussion or scrutiny. That women loving women are valid in their experiences, and they are powerful beyond what we are taught to be.
We are our own fairytale with our own destinies. That is the natural order of things.