This Girl Likes Girls

Stealing kisses from your Mrs, doesn’t make you freak out
Got you fussing, got you worried, scared to let your guard down

I don’t want to write this post.

I don’t want to not write this post, either.

I should write this post. It’s important. And I’ll feel better once it’s written.

This post is the final installment of my 2015 Pride blogfest thingy, and this post is about why I don’t want to write this post. It’s also about some other things.

Note: This post contains massive amounts of internalized homophobia.
If that makes you uncomfortable, then I don’t recommend reading it.
Instead, watch this video of a tiny cute kitten!

I came out on June thirtieth, 2013 – two years ago today.

I came out for a variety of reasons, one of which is that I thought it would help me to feel better about being queer. I thought that finally being open about who I really am would make me feel better about myself, would help me fully accept that part of myself.

Tell the neighbors I’m not sorry if I’m breaking walls down
Building your girl’s second story, ripping all your floors out

Well, it sort of has, and it sort of hasn’t. It’s true that I am not nearly as panicky and stressed and worried to the point of making myself physically ill, because the fear of being outed is no longer present in my life.

But I also feel that it hasn’t gotten any better for me in a number of ways.

I’m still not as comfortable with myself as I’d like to be.

One of the first things I was told after coming out – by someone I thought would understand, by someone I thought I could trust – was that I didn’t need to tell anyone about “this.” That I should keep my identity to myself because it was a private matter, that “straight people don’t go around telling everyone they’re straight, so why should you tell anyone?!”

These words have remained with me for a long time. Longer than I’d like.

Always gonna steal your thunder
Watch me like a dark cloud

Most of the time, I still feel horrible when I talk about anything LGBTQ+ related. I still feel nervous and uncomfortable and ashamed. It may surprise some of you to hear that, but you can’t get inside my mind and know what I’m thinking, after all. I probably don’t come across as a person who still has major issues with accepting her own sexual orientation – at least, I don’t think you can tell this by reading any of my previous LGBTQ+ posts – but I am.

Writing blog posts about coming out, my favorite LGBTQ+ book, my queer role models, et cetera – anything LGBTQ+ related, to be honest – is not my first instinct. I have to sort of push myself to do this because I know that I’ll feel better after I write them, even if I don’t feel that great when I begin writing them.

I feel guilty, weird, scared, ashamed, uncomfortable when I write these posts. Or when I come out to someone. Or when I talk to someone IRL about some LGBTQ+ thing that’s been on the news lately.

Because even two years after I came out and thought everything would magically get better, I still feel like I shouldn’t be talking about this stuff. I still feel like I should keep my queerness to myself, because that’s what both individual people and society as a whole have told me, over and over and over.

We will be everything that we’d ever need
Don’t tell me, tell me what I feel

I’ve been told that coming out and talking/blogging/writing about my experiences as an LGBTQ+ person is “flaunting it” and “shoving it in people’s faces” and “not necessary.” I’ve been told that I talk/blog/write about it too much, even as I look around me and see straight people being FAR more open about their relationships, crushes, and feelings than I think I will ever feel comfortable being about mine.

This is called internalized homophobia, and it’s not fun.

I’m pretty sure we all know what regular homophobia looks like. It takes the form of slurs, disparaging comments, rude jokes – and, unfortunately, beatings, rapes, and murders as well.

I’m not going to say that internalized homophobia is worse than regular homophobia, because I don’t think it is: It’s just different.

It is more insidious, though.

I’m real and I don’t feel like boys
I’m real and I don’t feel like boys

It took me forever to even realized that I had a major case of internalized homophobia… because I didn’t know I could feel differently. I just kind of assumed that it was completely normal and “right” and “OK” for any and all non-straight people to feel this way. I thought I’d probably feel this way for the rest of my life because that’s just the way things were.

And I probably will feel this way for a long time to come, but I don’t want to feel this way forever. So I’m trying to do something about that.

That’s what this 2015 Pride blogfest thingy was partially about. When I published an introduction to this post series back on June first, some of the reasons I listed for doing this blogfest were “celebrating queer people,” “educating allies,” and “because I freaking want to, that’s why.”

And then about one week into June, I published a post titled Who, Not Why: I Blog For Tiny LGBTQ+ Kids. In it, I discussed my hope that LGBTQ+ youth will find this blog – will find any resource, online or not – and find the LGBTQ+ content helpful and reassuring.

But those posts… well, while they were MOSTLY truthful, they didn’t quite contain all of the truth.

Saw your face, heard your name, gotta get with you
Girls like girls like boys do, nothing new

One of the reasons I did this Pride blogfest thingy was that I wanted to feel better about myself, feel more comfortable talking about my experiences as a young queer woman. One of the reasons I blog about LGBTQ+ things in general – throughout the year, not just during Pride Month – is that I’m trying to reassure myself that who I am is OK, that TELLING people who I am is OK!

I do this by talking, blogging, and writing about this stuff frequently – so that I become accustomed to it, and hopefully end up not feeling quite so bad about it.

I don’t know how long this will take. A long time, I suppose. Longer than I’d like. Will I lose the internalized homophobia in five years? Ten years? Will I be OLD by the time I finally have this figured out?! Who knows?

Isn’t this why we came? Gotta get with you
Girls like girls like boys do, nothing new
Girls like girls like boys do, nothing new

It didn’t get better right away, but it is slowly getting better. I’m getting better. Talking, blogging, and writing have helped, and so has reading and chatting with my AWESOME WONDERFUL FRIENDS.

Seriously. Wren Ayola @ Alien Cows deserves a special mention for all those times I’ve sent her sad/worried/panicky texts because I was fretting about whether or not I should just shut up about my sexual orientation after all. And every time, she shows a firm, no-nonsense attitude and reminds me that it’s just internalized homophobia.

She points out that after society has told you all these things about yourself – about what you’re worth, and how your very existence makes people angry or, at best, uncomfortable – you start to believe these things are true. You take them to heart.

And then she also reminds me that things will get better, and that if any straight people have a problem with my honesty and openness about who I am – even though they are “flaunting” it just as much, if not more – than that’s THEIR problem, not mine.

I’ve been crossing all the lines, all the lines
Kissed your girls and made you cry, boys

I’m getting better… or at least I’m trying to. I’m trying to work on improving my attitude towards my own self. My first instinct is to curl up into a ball and feel ashamed and embarrassed and uncomfortable about being a lesbian – hell, in my worst moments I’ve considered conversion therapy to make me straight, even though I know it wouldn’t work – but I’m trying to get better.

This Pride blogfest THINGY is, hopefully, a way of moving past my internalized homophobia. I call it the “fake it ’til you make it” approach because A) I can’t think of anything better to call it and B) I can’t think of any other way to move past these feelings. Talking/blogging/writing about LGBTQ+ stuff doesn’t come as easily to me as it might seem, but I keep pushing onward in the hope I will eventually start to believe all this positive stuff I keep telling myself.

Isn’t this why we came? Tell me if you feel it too!
Tell me, girls like girls like boys do, nothing new

And tonight, I decided to be honest with you about what I’ve been doing. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope this post helped a few people – maybe you read it and realized that internalized homophobia is the name for what you, too, have been dealing with. Or maybe this isn’t something you’re going through at the moment, but you’ve been there before and have some good advice. (If so, put it in the comments section below! I’d love to hear what you have to say!) Or maybe you’re not even queer but this post made you more aware of this issue and what some of your LGBTQ+ friends may be going through.

Happy Pride, everyone.

P.S. The lyrics featured in this post are from the song “Girls Like Girls” by Hayley Kiyoko. She released the music video for it last week and I’ve been watching/listening to it on repeat. I literally SOBBED the first time I watched it because it resonated so strongly with everything I’ve been thinking and feeling lately.

In just a few short days, it’s grown to mean a lot to me because it so simply and so sweetly gives me the reminder that I needed to hear: Who I am is not wrong, and merely existing as a queer person and talking about my experiences and who I really am is not “flaunting it.” It’s just being truthful.

I can already tell that this will be my go-to song of the summer: It reminded me that some girls like girls at a time when I really, really needed to hear that message.

Girls like girls like boys do, and that’s nothing new. It’s not weird, and it’s not wrong. It just is. It’s real. And it’s not going away. I want my “happily ever after” just like everyone else does and maybe if I keep reminding myself that girls like girls like boys do, I’ll finally achieve it.

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in LGBTQ+, Neville Sings The Blues, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to This Girl Likes Girls

  1. Engie, oh my goodness, here are one million hugs from me ❤ ❤ ❤ Being uncomfortable in who you are is an awful feeling and I'm so proud of you – and of others – for continually being brave enough to share your stories and help the rest of us understand a little better, so that the younger generations hopefully don't have to go through such hatred and homophobia and…oh god, conversion therapy, even (I hope you don't still think about that??? You're amazing the way you are, OBVIOUSLY!!). Thank you for the posts this month – they're absolutely incredible.

    • nevillegirl says:

      *accepts hugs gratefully*

      I… still kinda do, sometimes. I KNOW I shouldn’t and that it’s a bad idea but at the same time, every so often I feel like I haven’t tried hard enough to be straight?? And I’m not very good at making my brain shut up about those things. 😦

      Aw, thank you so much!

  2. orphu44 says:

    PENDING COMMENT

  3. orphu44 says:

    Ahh, thank you for showing me Girls Like Girls!
    I know this has been said 3078 times over but like ?? contrary to popular belief straight people do talk about being straight?? really often?? I mean they don’t say ‘I’m straight’ but they say things that get classified as ‘flaunting your sexuality’ when non-straight people say them.
    And please do keep talking about non-straight things, it is always A+. But if I thought it’d help I’d offer you like. a sword or something to fight internalized homophobia. (I mean it probably /wouldn’t/ help but my knee-jerk reaction to intangible negative things is essentially ‘what if there were a sword that could stop this.’)
    (Also sorry for the ‘pending comment’ thing, that was literally just because I keep on formulating comments to your posts and then just. not posting them and I wanted to make sure I’d actually post my comment this time.)

    • nevillegirl says:

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you liked it. 🙂 It’s so sweet and cute and sdkajhdskgjdhkgds.

      Yep, that’s what I keep telling myself. I have a hard time getting myself to believe it, though. :/ This is probably one of the reasons I have so many queer friends and like 3 straight friends??? Because I never have to worry about this stuff when I’m around LGBTQ+ people.

      I LIKE THE WAY YOU THINK. *nods* Swords are always the answer… although I think the Scepter of the Ancients might work too. 😛

      *patpat* Pffffft. You’re such a dork. But I am too… ❤

  4. *superdupersupermanhugs* I SHALL HUG YOU FOR INFINITY AND BEYOOOOOOOOND.
    Okay, in all seriousness, YOU ARE A WONDERFUL, AMAZING, FABULOUS BEING WHO HAS TAUGHT ME SO MUCH AND RUNS A WONDERFUL BLOG AND IS JUST AWESOME. I do hope, like you, that this internalized homophobia goes away. 😦
    I guess I don’t ever really feel this way (I mean, I haven’t exactly “come out” to my parents yet but I know they’d be accepting) because I used to live in CA, and as stereotypical as it sounds, there were so many queer couples that I never thought about it when I was a kid. So I guess that just suck with me, I guess. I feel awkward talking about it with people that aren’t my friends, but I guess not on the same level as you.
    SO ANYWAY, I really hope that you someday fully accept yourself, because you are a spectacular girl and we all love you. ❤
    Also, I really need to listen to that song.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Superman hugs! *cheers* Thank you. ❤

      SDLKGJDLGJFDSD THANK YOU. *blush*

      Yeah, I wish I'd had that… I remember asking why I had two uncles who lived together (because *dun dun DUN* they were GAY!) when I was really little… can't have been more than five or six years old? And the adults around me would just refuse to tell me, which ended up really messing me up later because I didn't even KNOW what being gay was until I was 11, even though I'd started to get crushes on girls a few years earlier. I had no idea that what I was feeling was even possible/normal for anyone else!

      So, yeah. IDK if I will ever have kids, but if I do I’m definitely going to surround them with positive examples of LGBTQ+ stuff in case they end up being queer too. (And even if they’re not, it will make them better, more understanding straight allies.) And if I don’t have kids… well, I like kids anyway, so maybe I’d find some way to volunteer with an organization that helps queer kids? So I can help them have better self-esteem than I did at their age? 🙂
      Yes, yes you do! 😀

      • That’s a really good point! I don’t know that I, personally, ever really asked? I think I just kind of went with it. *shrugs*
        I love that, because, really, that’s exactly what we need- people to grow up knowing that being queer is okay and that it isn’t bad, it isn’t wrong, it isn’t unnatural, and really just to try to accept everyone. So that’s a super cool way to do it, with an organization of some sort.
        Anyhow. That above paragraph-y thing felt very awkwardly phrased. Ah well.

      • ALSO I WATCHED THE MUSIC VIDEO OMG THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND ALSO EVERYONE FROM DISNEY CHANNEL? Hailey is from Lemonade Mouth, there’s Stephanie Scott from Ant Farm, and then the person who plays the other girl is apparently from Pair of Kings?! BUT STILL THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL OMG. And the Behind the Scenes are soooo funny.

  5. Scoot X says:

    wowowowowowowow.
    i can’t tell you how (1) inspirational to everyone (2) inspirational to me (!!!) and (3) HOW ALL ROUND RAD YOU ARE.
    i get like posts like these aren’t the easiest or most fun to write but for those of us who look up to you and because of the most amazing pride month, it’s so important.
    good job. it’s a sucky thing but it’s all i can muster. good job and keep kicking ass.
    x

  6. Artgirl says:

    Ok, I wrote out a super long comment but I think the internet ate it. If you have received it, please ignore this. If not:

    I would like to, first of all, commend you on your bravery. It takes guts to say something like this to other people, and I think it also takes guts to say it to yourself. I am super duper proud of you and I’m so glad you wrote this even though it was difficult. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to it—I know I do— and even though that means they have to endure the same pain, it means you are not alone. You are never alone in this. Others have been there, or are there, and are willing to help you through it. I know moving past internalized homophobia isn’t easy. I seem to be constantly trapped between being too queer or not queer enough. In a world where many do not see my identity as real, I find I have the need to continually validate myself, assure myself that I am indeed what I think I am. I do this by talking, by writing, by everything. And then when I do that talking and writing and everything I start feeling horribly guilty and like I’m shoving my sexuality in other people’s faces. I know full well that who I am is not wrong, but in a society that has taught me my existence is wrong, it can be difficult to really connect with that knowledge. So if it helps any, I’m right here with you. And I believe, unequivocally, that we will overcome this.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Yeah, I think the internet must have eaten it… anyway.

      THANK YOU. ❤ Seriously. You are the bestest friend. ❤ ❤ I often feel like I'm being too queer, or… IDK sometimes I question whether I should just try to be straight? I mean, I spent a long time trying to convince myself that I wasn't old enough to be sure of my orientation, and I still do that now.

  7. Miriam Joy says:

    *super hugs*

    I’ve been there. Not in the same way, necessarily — once you bring faith/religion into the mix, there are a whole host of other issues to deal with — but I did have someone tell me to keep it to myself etc, and it’s the worst. I’ve reacted against that by being exceedingly blatant in my queerness, refusing to hide it. (Getting an undercut was only a part of that.) It frequently frustrates my family that I insist on being so … obviously queer? But I use that as a way of helping myself feel confident in my identity. Fake it until you make it and all that.

    Just remember you can always come cry to me. I might not be online, but when I am, I will send you hugs.

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  9. moosha23 says:

    You’re amazing Engie and don’t ever forget that. Doing something like this is braver than brave, especially if you’re doing it after all the internalised homophobia you’ve been feeling.
    Staying true to yourself and presenting that doesn’t always make everyone feel better that’s true.
    What you’ve shown through this is you are demanding a better world and that attitude will keep you comfort a lot of the time. Hope you break out of it soon enough! No matter how long it takes though it is natural and I think something of the sort is there for all minorities, but I hope with all my heart that tomorrow’s kids live in a world where it does not exist.

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  11. Shalom 🎇 says:

    Also this song hits me really hard and I love it more and more every time I listen to it.

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