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Am I gay?

“Throughout high school, I was generally uninterested in boys. While all my friends were boy-crazy and it would be the main topic of our conversations, I couldn’t have cared less. I always assumed I just hadn’t met the right guy yet or that I was just extremely picky. As I got older and started to go out clubbing, I didn’t want to hook up with any guy - ever -, and kept on turning them down. I remember talking to friends in high school about who would eventually come out gay from all the students in our grade. Well, who would have known.

Back where I’m from, in a small city in Germany, people didn’t really talk about homosexuality and I was never surrounded by any gay people  - apart from the two gay teachers in my high school. One of them was a very ‘butch’ lesbian, meaning she appeared somewhat masculine. All the other teens in my school would talk trash about her - criticizing her walks, talks, and looks. But her being one of the only gay people I knew at that time, I simply thought that was what lesbians look like. As I always appeared pretty feminine and I clearly did not look like her, it did not even cross my mind that I could be gay too.  

Leaving my hometown in Germany and moving to Amsterdam was essential for me to realize I actually love dating girls; it showed me the most diverse crowd of people with all kinds of identities. This environment opened doors for me, and everything just started falling into place as I realized I am simply sexually, emotionally, and romantically attracted to women. 

Immediately after coming out, I had somewhat of an identity crisis; I didn’t know how to express myself after coming to terms with my sexuality. As I am very straight-passing and do not look like a “stereotypical lesbian”, people usually do not assume I’m gay - which, by the way, makes dating a lot harder. Thank God for dating apps, though. I always thought that once I had come out that would be it - ‘now everyone knows I’m gay!’ Little did I know that I would weekly find myself having to explain everything all over again to friends, family, and sometimes to a drunk stranger at the bar. I mean it’s cool, I get it; we live in a heteronormative society. Just look at our favorite romantic comedies - they’re all very heteronormative and heterosexual. This is why queer representation in media and film is so important as it helps to normalize queer relationships. Lesbians and the thought of ‘two girls kissing and having sex’ is still largely hyper-sexualized, and I still get comments or creepy looks when I walk down the street holding hands or kissing another girl, especially from men. I’ve mostly learned to ignore it, but quite frankly it's annoying and unasked for. 

I often wonder who I would be now if I never moved to Amsterdam. I obviously have no answer to that question, but all I can say is I am incredibly happy and grateful for how my life has turned out and where I am at this moment.”

- Christina, Germany

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