Who are you?

By Tesia

Who are you? What a loaded question! I used to think that I had an idea: my name is Tesia, I am a woman, I am 19 years old ... But now that I am beginning to scratch the surface of who I REALLY am, I realize how superficial these definitions are. All through high school I knew that there was something different about me -- I just didn't quite fit the mold. I didn't get into the partying scene, and although I had a lot of rather obsessive crushes on boys, I was never really that happy once anything became of them. I had lots of boyfriends, but none that lasted longer than three months, which was the point at which I completely lost interest. I felt special bonds with the lesbian women that I came into contact with, but I thought that I adored them just because they were cool people, it never occurred to me that maybe we had something in common!

Throughout my teenage years I would look disgustedly at boyfriends groping their girlfriends, and straight couples that were looking at each other all googely-eyed. I never believed that these people were really in love -- I thought that since it was often an act for me, they must be taking part in the same play (but it didn't REALLY mean much to them.) However, I never had any trouble believing the depth of the love between two women. It always seemed so genuine to me, but I never stopped to ask myself "why do you think that this is the case?" I just went on blindly groping for WHY I was so unhappy, and WHAT WAS IT that was making me feel so different?

Last summer it finally hit me. I fell in love with another woman so hard that I had no choice but to face what was going on. For months I struggled with this issue that maybe ... gulp ... I was one of those awesome lesbians!! I had a boyfriend at the time, so I tried to ignore this growing feeling inside me, but finally I found myself looking at women more and more, and men, less and less. I broke up with my boyfriend and quickly moved to the next step -- coming out to the world! So far I have been accepted with open arms and I feel like I am floating through life. This is not to say that I did not go through a SERIOUS depression for a couple of weeks after coming out. At the time I thought that my whole world as I knew it was going to collapse in on me and change forever. It never occurred to me that it could change for the BETTER!

I have never had a relationship with a woman, and for awhile I thought that kind of made me an "honorary lesbian," I couldn't join the club until I had a girlfriend. Well, tonight I went to a meeting with a group of people interested in starting a GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) chapter in Marin, and I realized that being queer is not about who you are dating, it is about WHO YOU ARE. I am proud of who I am now -- prouder than I was when I considered myself straight. I am proud because I have the strength to say "THIS is WHO I AM, and I am PROUD of it!"

Tesia, 20, lives in Marin County, Calif. She can be reached at Fresha@aol.com

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