I was 13 when a friend of mine casually held my hand at a Halloween event. I'd never thought of affection between two female friends to be something out of the ordinary, until I started to feel the judging eyes of my peers practically burning a hole through me. The next day, it was gossip in history class. "Oh my god, I saw her last night. She was holding hands with a girl. She's like a lesbian". I was absolutely terrified of being perceived this way. Because 'what, no I'm not! I want to date boys. How could I like girls?' 

Growing up religious had a huge impact on my notion of the LGBTQ community. I always heard things like "I just wish they wouldn't kiss in public" and "being gay is their trial in this life. God wants them to be celibate." "If they were to be in a relationship, it would be giving in to the temptations of Satan".

I was troubled for YEARS about the idea. This omnipotent and loving God didn't create these people exactly the way they were meant to be? Or is it the flawed and frightened Christians who are the ones molding a God to fit the standards that make them most comfortable?

It wasn't until college that I first kissed a girl. Even then, I thought it was normal fun. Everyone kisses their friends when they're drunk...or sober? It was harmless and it didn't mean anything. Everyone who likes boys thought about kissing their girl friends (just for fun) and everyone had dreams (sometimes) about being in relationships with women.

My self realization didn't come until years later when I happened upon a video that said "straight people don't wonder if they're gay. Straight people don't have gay thoughts. Straight people don't have a gay 'for you page'. I felt called-out! It was scary to admit to myself that I could be queer, even in a straight-passing relationship. 

I'm grateful for the unconditional support and love I received from my husband when I told him I thought I might like girls too. (Even though he basically said well yeah DUH I knew that). I think feeling the way that I do gives me a better understanding of the fact that the queer community is not just for openly out and proud individuals. There are infinite ways to mix and match when it comes to your own personal identity and sexuality. No one has conform to one way of being. The only correct way to be is unapologetically and authentically yourself. Even if it's scary.