My family ridicules me for having so many queer friends. They criticize the fact that most of my friends are queer. They insist I need to branch out, that I'm limiting myself. Once, my mother even told me that the reasons so many of my friends are queer is because I struggle with making friends, and that gay people do too, so I get along with them. I told my mom she knows nothing about gay people. These things really get to me. Often, I feel ashamed; often, I feel like this isn't good enough. I notice that my friends, even my queer friends, have straight friends, as well, and I feel awful that the vast majority of my friends are not heterosexual. To tell you the truth, the only reason I am not branching out beyond my current queer group of friends is because I don't know how: I struggle with meeting people, and I found (and am still working on finding) my place in Boulder through clubs like GSA and QI and through the people I met at those clubs.
Only I shouldn't feel ashamed. Recently, I visited an old friend at Northwestern University. She told me all about her friends, and how much fun she has. Most of her friends are band people, and she met them through the college band. And she was so happy - she went on and on about how cool they are, about their band inside jokes, about how happy she is. So I began to wonder - what's the difference between that and my friendships? Most of my friends are queer, and I met most of them through queer organizations. And I could go on and on about how awesome these people are, about our inside jokes, about how happy I am. I'm attracted to the gay community, I love the gay community, and that's why I befriended queer activists!
Often, I wonder how different my life would be if I hadn't come out last summer. Before summer, although I admitted that I had some attraction to women, I primarily identified as straight. Occasionally, I would tell people I am questioning or bi-curious, but by the end of the day, I was straight (and turned down many girls in highschool because I was straight). To tell you the truth, until I met the right woman to pull me out of the closet, my sexuality was not a major concern in my life. Even now, I still believe I lean primarily towards men, and I even consider myself hetero-flexible at times. Thus, if I hadn't met that woman, if I hadn't come out, I would have identified, acted, and felt straight - and I would have been fine with it. Still, I think I would have ended up in the same place I am now. Before coming out, before seriously questioning my sexuality, I was already active in the GSA at my highschool, and I proudly wore an "I am an Ally" pin on my backpack. I had already looked up the GSA and the GLBTRC, and I was already planning to get involved in the gay community at CU. If I was straight, I would have joined the same clubs, met the same people. Even my love life would be essentially the same - except for a few casual make-outs, all my significant physical and romantic partners since starting college have been men. I probably would have still cut my hair. If I were still straight, I would look, act, and interact in much the same way as I do now.
So how did I get here? I got here because this is where my passions lie. Because this is something I believe in. I got here because I love friendly, kind people, because I love unique individuals, because I love change and activist. I got here not because of my sexuality, but because of my personality.