To struggle and struggle about the idea of who you are, and to reject yourself to be like the others, because what you like is not like the others. But, how long can you hide yourself? You are not like the others.
Age 16. If you looked at me, you would never have known that I struggled with my sense of self, sexuality, confidence, and purpose. During high school, at a party, a girl I knew got pretty drunk. She was laughing and running around. All of a sudden she came and sat on me, looked at me in the eyes and wrapped her arms around me. I felt warm inside and my cheeks warmed too. Lucky my skin has always been darker, so I didn’t blush. She asked me a question as she looked deeply into my eyes. I was so confused at that moment to why I liked this feeling? That was my first nudge.
Age 20. You still look at me and will believe I was the happiest and straightest person you know. I walked into one of the offices at my university, and saw this beautiful long haired red-headed girl at the front desk, and my body just fluttered. I thought, “Wow Cydi, you have a crush on a girl?” But I tried to play it off. But how do you approach a girl when you’re a girl?
Age 21. As I continue to pretend, yet I know I’m not like the others. I was at a poetry night. Minneapolis’s first trans-gendered City Councilwoman, walked onto the small intimate stage. She shared a personal poem from her book about her romantic turmoil with a woman she loved who couldn’t accept her for who she was. The poem captivated me. A trans-gendered woman who loved a woman. Wow, that was something beautiful. I loved the vibe of this human being on stage. I thought, I wouldn’t mind loving someone who was trans-gendered. I have never related to someone as I did with her in that moment. Right there, I made the choice to be open about my romantic partners despite their sex.
I’ve pondered about my sexuality with close family. I even asked my younger cousin who is six years younger than me. “Haven’t you ever questioned whether you like girls?”
“No,” she replies.
“But how do you know that?” I ask
“You just know,” The answer I’ve gotten from many people I’ve asked. But why did I struggle with the idea that I liked girls?
Why, we live in a place where we are encouraged to hide our true selves. Why we live in a place where the only way to belong is to follow what others do. As we begin to be ourselves and act a little different, they label you as something alien, and unfitting to be part of the whole.
Why can’t we live in a place where we are allowed to be who we are and everyone is accepted?
For so long, I’ve been afraid to come out and say I’m attracted to women. But here. I AM ATTRACTED TO WOMEN. I would say I’m attracted to men too. And I’ve never liked someone who was trans-gendered, but I always had the mindset that I was open. Why stop the possibility to fall in love with awesome human beings?
I grew up around a lot of girl cousins. We were like many girls, very close and touchy. We’d slap each other’s butts and grab each other’s boobs for fun. I was very comfortable being around women, and I never felt any type of attraction or anything. When I went dancing with my girls at the club, it was always plain fun. Just because I grind on a girl doesn’t necessarily mean I like or want to have sex with her? I believe it truly depends on the girl. There is a difference between just a friend girl and a girl you like. I also grew up in household where being anything but straight was foreign and odd. So, for the longest time, I tried to be “normal” and be like the other girls. This has been another reason for my span of depression on top of other reasons. But I am now deciding to embrace this part of who I am.
I do it for this little girl, who constantly feared judgment and for this young woman below who works on herself everyday to live her best self no matter who disagrees. People can call me a “pan-sexual”, “sexually-fluid”, or even “weird”, I’m not too hung up on labels. I just like who I like, and I want to allow myself to be liberated. I am excited to venture on my new journey, and my new truth, and yet I will need to take in this truth and also be comfortable with it as well. But every day, I am a step closer to who I am. I hope the same for you.
❤ Cydi – Wabi Sabi