Straight or GayPeople often ask me”-. Have you always known you were gay? I don’t know? I just want to ask them, have you always known you were straight?

I guess that sounds a little rude but I couldn’t tell you an exact age that I thought YEP I am totally lesbian – well maybe I can but it’s all a bit of a grey area. When I look back now I could pinpoint times as a younger teen that I may have thought something was a little different.

Growing up I always had ‘boyfriends’ pretty much from 11 years old I mostly had a boyfriend. Without tooting my own horn I somehow managed to get some of the ‘popular’ boys to be my boyfriend! I must not have been letting any gaydar off that young then!

I guess my first REAL boyfriend was in year 6, I moved to a country town and I am fairly sure that within my first week someone was asking ‘so who do YOU like?’ it’s funny how young that can all start. Soon enough we were ‘going out’ ahhh young relationships are so easy, you don’t really have to talk to each other or do anything and then I guess after a while you break up and move on to the next person. I can’t remember how we ’broke up’ but in year 7 I was going out with a new guy.

I remember when this one guy in year 7 broke up with me, it was the first time I really felt heartbroken. He was also my first kiss on the lips OHHHH still how simple things were back then!

Nearing the end of year 9… wow have hormones have definitely kicked in! I had kissed my first boy *proper kiss* the last year, I love the fact that we are both gay now. So come to the mid to end of year 9 and I had settled into a new school and made new friends and found my place in a group. I had a few crushes on some of the year 11 boys that were in the school band. We had all gone to Brisbane and had got closer over this time.

I managed to get the guts up to ask one of the boys out and we ended up going out. He was a really nice guy but we ended up breaking at the end of the year.

Around the end of year 10, I first realised I had a crush on a girl. I ended up telling her a few years ago and we can both laugh about it now and consider her one of my closest best friends. I really admired that she was older, at uni and just seemed so much cooler than most of the people at school. I also developed a crush on a girl who was in year 12 and as embarrassing as it is to mention, I almost wanted to vomit whenever she was around. So I guess THIS is what a REAL crush is like? It was a lot more confusing about having a crush on someone who wasn’t a boy.

Year 11 was very much similar to year 10 and I had another boyfriend. We broke up between years 11 and 12. I was a little confused going into year 12. I had crushes on girls and also had 2 other people I had feelings for. I knew that my best friend had real feelings for me and ended up taking the risk and he ended up being my boyfriend. I was worried as we were very close and I didn’t want to ruin it.

We ended up being together for 3 and a half years. He really was my best friend and I don’t regret any of the time we had together. He was my first and will definitely have a spot in my heart forever. After 3 and a half years together and growing up and becoming adults I ended up breaking up with him. It was hard for both of us and there were times there when I considered going back – because hey it would have to be easier than coming out to everyone as lesbian, right?

After the break up I got talking to a girl I knew and admitted I had a bit of a crush on her. She admitted the same to me and we went to the movies together, I was so nervous but neither of us had gone into this expecting anything. We went to kings park that night and I ended up plucking up the courage to kiss her. I couldn’t believe what I had done, I was a little shocked at myself and ended up doing it again! So THIS what kissing a girl was like? I thought to myself I could definitely do this again.

She was the first girl I slept with and wow! I was definitely feeling a little gayer after all of this! We ‘hooked’ up a few times and it was fantastic, it was completely different to being with a guy. We both weren’t interested in any kind of relationship so it was a great time to explore my identity a little.

A couple of months after the break up with ‘boyfriend’ I met Amber. We went out on a date and clicked. Even though there were nerves there everything seemed to flow so easily. The conversation wasn’t awkward and I felt like I could really be myself. We even shared a kiss on our first date. We saw each other fairly regularly and within two weeks of our secret meetings, my close family and friends knew about her.

It was scary and a horrible couple of weeks/months. Even though I felt such relief when everyone knew, it was hard to know how people were going to react. Coming out is not easy. People think you are different, they think that you might want to jump them if they are the same-sex as you, some straight guys think you haven’t found the right guy yet… but I was lucky. Most of my friends and family were fantastic, yeah I might have grown apart from some friends but I don’t hold anything against them.

So that brings me back to the question of ‘have you always known you were gay?’ the answer is definitely no. I don’t know if it was easier to come out at a younger age I would have, I really don’t know and I will never know. I guess I only really identified myself as gay when I was well into my relationship with Amber. Even then, how could I label myself for the rest of my life? I highly doubt I will ever be with another man, but I will never rule it out either.

I have been with Amber for 8 years now and we have been through so much together, moving, almost breakups, baby-making, losing a baby, building a house… so much that many of my straight friends have also been through. I may have not always known I was gay but it is something that now as my 28-year-old self I can tell people, yes I am gay.

Next time you want to ask someone if they have always known they were gay, ask yourself the question… have you always known you were straight? It’s not like us gays or lesbians go around asking straight people if they’ve always known they were straight…