August 1999

Funny How Things Work Out...

I've decided to write my first article by telling something that happened to me. It's about a friend I used to have. After coming out, she wasn't so much of a friend anymore...

I was friends with a girl for 7 years, since the fourth grade up until about 6 months ago. We were the best of friends. We had just about nothing in common, though. I often wondered exactly why we were friends. There was no logical reason. But, we did have fun together and enjoyed each other's company. So I guess that's all that matters.

Well, during the later part of 1997, I was realizing and accepting my sexuality. I knew I liked girls when I was about 11. However, I'd thought for years that maybe I was bisexual. I was unable to accept the fact that I was a lesbian. I didn't really want to be different. Puberty does that to you. But by 1997, when I was 15, I was satisfied and okay with being a lesbian.

For my New Year's resolution in 1998, I decided that I was going to come out to my best friend. I had it all planned out. I was going to spend the night over her house on New Year's Eve. Then when she asked what my resolution was going to be, I'd say "Well... To come out." Or something terribly simple like that.

So, New Year's Eve of 1998, I stayed over her house for the night. And then it happened. She asked if I had a resolution. I said that I did. She asked what it was. I said I couldn't tell her yet, that I would tell her sometime that year when I was ready [that's me chickening out, by the way]. She looked at me and then said "I think we have the same resolution." I laughed and said "Trust me, it's not the same." That was pretty much the end of that conversation.

It didn't happen that night. I didn't come out. I was too scared. However, on January 28, 1998, she and I were talking online, through AOL. We were having some insanely shallow conversation which I was barely paying attention to. I was just thinking "I'm about to do it." Then I typed out two words - I'm bisexual. I closed my eyes and tried not to cry. I wondered what she was doing, thinking, on the other side of the screen. Somehow, I figured that by telling her I was bisexual instead of a lesbian, it'd be more easier to accept me. Of all the responses that went through my head of what she was going to say, what she typed was not one of them. She typed back three words - So am I. And that was that. I came out to her that day and vice versa.

That night, I thought I was going to die. I was so ready and prepared for rejection that when it didn't happen, I just wanted to crawl under a rock. It was suddenly like she knew too much about me. I even thought she'd use it against me.

We barely said a word to each other in school the next day. Even when we were right there, staring each other in the face, not a word was said. I suddenly felt shy around her. I couldn't look into her eyes anymore. I was afraid if I did, she'd look right into my soul and finally pull out that rejection I'd prepared for. That was basically the beginning of the end of our friendship.

But the shyness is probably the best of all the things that resulted from that day. Not long after, she started hanging around another girl. This girl was very anti-gay. As the result of much misinformation, she'd become this huge spokeswoman for the "I hate gays" campaign. That is probably the only reason I got so angry when my best friend decided to become friends with this girl. I wondered what it meant...

My best friend decided she didn't want to be in the closet anymore. So she came out to a couple of our friends. I still wasn't ready to come out to other people yet, though.

Cut to a few months later. My best friend, her other friend, and I go through this huge traumatic experience. The other friend and I start talking to each other more and more. My best friend and I start talking to each other less and less. Come to find out, she went and got herself a boyfriend and didn't bother to tell me. Some best friend she is, eh? I also found out she wasn't really all that gay in the first place. [While we'd originally both come out as bisexual, we later confessed we were lesbians.]

After the traumatic experience, the other friend and my best friend had a falling out. It escalated until it reached the point where they got into a fist fight. Since there's no way they would ever be friends again, the other friend decided to tell me all the secrets my best friend told her. Well, the ones that pertain to me, at least.

Apparently, as soon as I'd come out to her [my best friend] she went and told this other friend. She'd also basically told her every single gay-related thing I'd said within the past year. She also told a couple of our other friends.

Finding this out led to the end of our friendship. As a matter of fact, I'm now best friends with the other friend. Weird how fate works. I've informed her on gay people enough to the point where she's EXTREMELY accepting of gay people and was even willing to go to a gay youth group meeting with me. She's an amazing person and I hate the fact that we weren't as good of friends long before now. It would've saved me much heartache.

So, all of the troubles I've faced this past year were a result of my coming out to someone who used it against me in the most horrible way. My EX best friend is now 17 and engaged to her boyfriend. I'm happy for her. Really. I am.

I'm so comfortable with myself that I don't care who knows. If someone asks me, I won't lie about it [although, no one's asked me]. I've got a girlfriend who I like a lot. My grades in school have improved. I'll be a senior next year. So, I'm pretty content with the way my life is right now. Sometimes I wish I'd never become friends with my ex best friend in the first place. But I don't think I'd be the person I am today without everything that happened. So, I guess it's true what they say - no pain, no gain.


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