I’m a 16-year-old lesbian from the Pacific Northwest. I have two moms who have been together for 35 years, and my dad, who is gay, grew up with one of them. I was outed to them in middle school by the Dean of Students when a girl in my class who I barely talked to told this teacher that I was making her uncomfortable. That girl also intimidated and bullied me at school, and when I went to the Dean he refused to do anything. He had also refused to do anything the previous year when a friend of mine was beating me up, even though I showed him the marks. Even though I grew up in a very accepting and queer environment, and live in one of the most liberal places in the world, I am terrified of being in a relationship. I’ve always been shy, and my experiences in middle school didn’t really help. I would like to be in a relationship, but whenever I am around girls I find attractive who I think might be attracted to me in return, I run for the hills in terror.
I really do want to be in a relationship, and when I emotionally connect I connect deeply. I have three options for relationships that I am considering. The first is a close friend of mine, but, surprise! She’s straight. At least she says she is. She often asks me questions about lesbian relationships, even when she’s sober. When she’s not, she flirts with me. I know I love her as a sister and a friend, but I’m ashamed of myself that those feelings may be expanding into new areas.
The second is another good friend who lives about three hours away. She is bisexual and we have a close bond because of our similar experiences and fellow queerness. She’s the kind of person I can just be with, without really needing to talk about trivial things. The college I am planning to go to is in her hometown, and she is also looking into it. But college is two years off, and she tends to show more interest in men than women.
The third is a girl at my school. She is gay, and has a girlfriend. Their relationship does not seem healthy to me, because of frequent break-ups and arguments and they cheat on each other quite a bit. As far as I know, neither is out to their family. I’m not the kind of person who breaks up others’ relationships because of jealousy, and I don’t want to go back into the closet, but I do have really good chemistry with this person and I want to keep her safe. We can relate to each other and have a connection. But breaking her up with her girlfriend would be dishonorable, and wouldn’t help anyone.
I am not restricting myself to these three people, but they are the ones that come to mind when I think of a person I would like to be in a relationship with. I have a connection with each of them. I don’t want to ruin these connections, but I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone I don’t already care about and have a connection with. I have tried dealing with this on my own, but I don’t know how yet, and I’m tired of putting myself through hell because of my fears. — Baby Dyke
Anna says: I’m gonna go with Option 4, Baby Dyke, which is None of the Above. A straight girl, a taken girl, and a long-distance girl are all pretty much terrible options for you to date, I’m sorry to say. Unless you’re on a deserted island and will never again reach civilization. In which case, go for the straight girl! (But really, don’t).
Here’s some homework for you — don’t worry, it’s fun. I want you to take some time and make a list of every quality that you want in a girlfriend. It can be specific, but it can’t be negative, as in “I want her to hate One Direction.” On that list please also write “is not dating another girl” and “lives in my zip code” and “likes vaginas” (really, those should be the first items on the list), plus anything else that’s important to you. Artistic? Tall? Nice forearms? Loves telenovelas? Put ‘em on the list. But don’t get so restrictive that anyone you date would have to be Beyonce or something. Feel free to adapt the list as necessary, but do think of it the next time you connect with someone and are trying to determine if she’d be good for you to date.
It’s very easy to fall for the wrong people. In fact, I’d argue that’s why the decade of your twenties was invented, but you should never settle for less than you deserve, even if it means being lonely for a little while longer.
I’m also gonna ask (in my concerned yet judgmental typing tone) where the hell your loving, supportive parents were when you were being bullied and beaten up by “friends” and strangers in middle school. (PS: I hope you have since stopped being friends with that person and that she is on trapped under a large boulder somewhere). Bullying and abuse are enough to scar even the most hardened dykes, so I’m not at all surprised you’re still feeling fear and shame surrounding these early incidences. A friend of mine faced a similar problem, except she went to a Catholic high school. She was bisexual and was actually dating a boy at the time, but was suspended anyway because rumors of her sexuality got to the dean. Can you beat that? It’s 2013 and this is still the world we live in.
Anyway dot com. I know you want to be in a relationship really badly, and you deserve all the hand-holding and canoodling possible, but in order for that to work, it needs to be with someone who is available and queer and lives somewhere less than three hours away from you. I know that might be difficult since you’re in high school and the pickin’s are slim. But that option is available, I promise! She just might not show up tomorrow.
While you’re waiting for love to show up on her Harley or whatever, you should take this time to start working on your sh!t. Yay, working on sh!t! It’s the lesbian way. That means dealing with your past trauma, maybe getting some counseling paid for by your supportive gay parents, or at least talking with a school counselor, assuming your high school is a million times better than your middle school. If not, there are lots of other people you can talk to. You’ve got a shiny soul with great abs, kiddo. And you don’t have to deal with these fears “on your own.”
Enjoy your amazing connections with your three friends, Goldie Locks. But don’t date anyone until she’s juuuuuust right.