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Queer people talk about the moment they knew they were lesbian

Queer people talk about the moment they knew they were lesbian

Coming out is a big moment in any LGBTI person’s life. But there’s a lot that goes on behind closed doors before that moment!

It came take some people years to figure out what they identify as.

Self-realization is not so much a moment, but a more of a journey. It’s also a part of any LGBTI person’s life that is far less spoken about.

To celebrate International Lesbian Day today (October 5), we asked 5 lesbians about the thought processes that came with figuring out their sexuality.


‘At first I thought I was bisexual for a few months. Then I realized “wait, you’ve never liked guys. You don’t like guys… You’re not bi, you’re a lesbian,”

‘It was really hard for me to think that! I thought being bisexual would be easier, because I could find a guy and not have to tell my family I’m gay. But here I am now.’

bout youuuu | Photo: Mary Madinabeytia Instagram


‘I identified as bi for about 2 years before one night lying in bed I came to the conclusion that I had never liked a single boy. I had just been too scared to admit to myself that I was gay.’


‘I knew I was deeply unattracted to men long before I knew I was attracted to women. I had an inkling that I liked girls, but with hindsight that had never really come properly to fruition by the time I was a teenager. To be fair to myself, I was also fourteen when I came out for the first time, so that is hardly surprising. I was like “I’m mildly into girls, I’ll work it all out later.”

‘I won’t deny compulsory heterosexuality is pervasive and I have definitely felt pressure as a consequence of me being not into men.

‘It’s still a process. I often find myself going “what if I am not really into women and this is all made up for attention” which is ludicrous given that I am me, but I think also as someone who is not particularly into the whole relationships and sex thing, the way lesbians are hypersexualised really hinders my ability to connect with my identity in some ways.

‘Linguistically, lesbian is a word I have struggled with too. Sometimes I loathe it, feeling it to be an oversimplification of how I feel my gender and sexuality manifests itself. But it’s a word people understand. Other times, I feel like lesbian is my word, the only word I would ever choose to describe myself. Sometimes I think that’s to do with the shame scales in my head. I got a lot of homophobic abuse after coming out, all of it with a gendered element, so actually using the word lesbian and being so vocal and proud is sometimes still not as easy as it looks. But, it gives me control over the language I use.’

Ellen Jones in front of a landscape
The Hills Are Alive #RuckusRetreat | Photo: Ellen Jones Twitter


‘During those old AOL days, I was curiously in a lesbian chat. I received a message from a random girl, Monica Hoffa.

‘She happened to go to the same high school as me. We chatted for what seemed like forever that day and the days to follow. A few days later, we met in a bathroom at school. Seeing her in person, being close to her, it was almost instant to just have the urge to kiss her.

‘From then, I was all hers for the following 7-8 years.’


‘I knew I like girls for a long time (can’t remember exactly when I knew!). But I suffered a lot of compulsory heterosexuality until last year when I went to university. 2 things super helped me realize:

‘1. A list of signs of compulsory heterosexuality that included “liking fictional men is not the same as actually being attracted to men” and “wanting men to find you attractive is not the same as being attracted to men.” Amusingly, this first led me to the thought “I’ll never love a man as much as I love Magnus Burnsides from The Adventure Zone”

‘2. Due to my mental illnesses and developmental disorders, I’m a very extreme person. So I usually develop “crushes” on new people I want to be friends with. I’d previously only gone to an all girls school, so it was only when I actually interacted with men at uni that I realized I wasn’t actually having that with my guy friends.

‘I also remember a few months earlier, when I’d first been having Gender Feels TM, I thought the label “agender lesbian” felt so much nicer than anything with bi in, which I was still identifying as at the time!’

new phone = new and exciting ways to take selfies | Photo: (Ella) gaysnowhite Instagram

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