Samie Davey has some borrowed words of advice for those struggling with their sexuality–or any other facet of life. How she came to truly listen to this advice and trust herself is disclosed in the following article.
“Trust yourself.” That’s what my sister has been saying to me all my life, and it’s what really helped me during my senior year of high school.
Basketball, a sport I’d been playing practically since I was born, was ending, I had no idea where I’d be the next year, and I’d distanced myself from many of my peers I found unfulfilling. Except for one–I had someone in my life I cared deeply about; it felt different than anything I’d ever experienced, and it wasn’t only because she was a girl.
Past dating and relationship experiences felt forced and often uncomfortable. Occasionally, I’d care for a boy, but would feel conflicted and disoriented when the relationship became sexual. But I’d gone through the motions of dating, and had been fine. Just fine. “Well maybe I haven’t met the right guy,” I’d say to myself constantly. I was young, and it seemed unrealistic that I would care deeply about a significant other. Others’ relationships seemed to end as quickly as mine, and I would go on to my next one unphased.
I attended social gatherings, was involved in my school, and had many friends. One thing seemed to set me apart. I found myself attracted to women. “Does anyone else feel this way?” I’d wonder. There were few girls who were ‘out’ in my grade, and I often found myself feeling annoyed or uncomfortable around them. How could they feel so confident liking the same sex?
My whole life I’d been denying this feeling, but finally settled on the fact that I was, at most, bisexual, and would most likely grow out of it. Even my doctor said it was probably a phase. There was something wrong with me, but it would go away. The positives of being what society considered normal seemed to outweigh the positives of being honest with myself. I would bottle up the frustration, and finish off my senior year without any disruption. This seemed easy, until I found myself developing feelings for a girl who, to my surprise, felt the same way for me. I tried to tell myself that this would pass, but in reality, I didn’t want it to. It was the first time I felt totally sure about something; it felt freeing, yet at the same time much more difficult. Even so, a huge part of me no longer wanted to ignore the complexity of myself. Suddenly, the questions were no longer “If I come out, what will happen to me? What will my friends and family think? How would the life I envisioned be different?”, but rather “When I come out...”
Months passed until I told my first friend—someone I felt so close too, and until this day, think of as a sister. The night I told her we were going to a party. On the way there, I’d been arguing with myself in my head over whether or not to tell her, and had finally decided that I wouldn’t. However, things change when you have a few shots of tequila. Not telling her seemed worse than telling her at that point in the night. It was time to trust myself.
We were in a hallway and she was going on about something I wasn’t paying attention to. My heart was beating out of my chest and I felt like I could cry. I finally spat out, “I like girls, and I’m dating one.” Her face immediately became serious, registering what I had just said. Then she smiled at me. “Is this your way of telling me you’re in love with me?” I gave her a look, wary of her sarcasm. “I’m kidding,” she continued, “come here. I love you. Now tell me about this girl.”
I’m incredibly privileged. Not every coming out story is as positive as mine. People face discrimination, being ostracised from their family. These things I will never be able to fully understand. But if I had one piece of advice for any closeted person out there, or any person who is having trouble taking a risk, I would give them my sister’s advice. Trust yourself. You know yourself more than anyone else. The little steps are as much to celebrate as the big ones. Any big step in your life is frightening, whether it’s taking a run on a different trail, applying for a job you may feel under-qualified for, or admitting to yourself that it’s okay to feel attracted to the same sex, but the rewards are tremendous. When I have to remind myself of this, I think of my sister’s advice: trust the process, trust yourself.