Did you fall for the title – “how I became gay“? Yes? Or were you puzzled and asked yourself how that’d be possible. For the yes-people, I just want you to know that you don’t just become or turn gay. There are many theories as to why some people are queer, but personally, I believe that queerness is something you’re born with that cannot be changed. So this post is basically going to be about how I came to a realization that I am queer – not yet specifically “gay” because that came some time later.
(I have never dated in my life. So when I talk about dating, relationships and sex, it’s going to be just a clump of thoughts, not reflections on personal experiences. Just saying!)
Throughout middle school and high school, I had had crushes on girls but I unconsciously fancied boys as well. My slight attraction to girls was overamplified – because it was a big thing for boys at that age. (And I was never sure of how much I liked or didn’t like girls because I never dated.) But my attraction to guys was ignored for the most part. When my close friends and I get excited (sexually), we would slip hands into each other”s pants and I even had a particular friend with whom I would occasionally escape to the bathroom to make out and give each other handjobs. There was nothing awkward with my very sexual encounters with my male friends when we started out experimenting such stuff. Eventually, their interest in each other waned, but mine didn’t. I would get mad at my special friend when he started to refuse to follow me to the bathroom. Back then, I didn’t realize my own queer identity.
Last year of high school, I met this guy whom I was instantly attracted to at first sight. We became friends and we hung out all the time. I was falling hard for him and I couldn’t see it for myself and nobody pointed it out – although people were gossiping and giggling behind my back. My friend knew I was infatuated but I was great help with his studies so he stuck around. We kind of even made plans for college together. But the moment we graduated high school, he left me – for good. I was upset that he should leave me after we got so close in high school. Still, it didn’t hit me that I was attracted to guys.
Several months later – after I got over my friend‘s departure – I started to learn about sexual orientations and realized that I could be bisexual or gay. It was a jaw-dropping revelation. And it was legitimate that my friend left me after putting up with me and my infatuation for a whole year just for the sake of having a study partner. I felt sorry that he had to put up with me, not realizing my feelings for him, and I felt dumb and ashamed that I hadn’t known myself well enough and that people should laugh behind our backs.
(Background information: The Burmese-Buddhist society is so ingrained in heteronormality that if you love a man, you’re considered a women, and if you love a woman, you’re considered a man – regardless of your gender. So gay males and lesbian females are mistaken with transgender females and transgender males. And since male supremacy is also part of the culture, gays are of a lower social status than lesbians.)