“Don’t let Samantha touch you, or you’ll become gay”. That was the rumor in Kindergarten.
Samantha was this strange girl with messy hair that didn’t really say much, but just stared into your soul. One day, she and I were alone in the hallway. I was heading back to class and I assume she was heading to the restroom. She walked toward me and tried to block me from walking any further. Now, I wasn’t afraid of “turning gay”, because even at that age I knew that’s not how it worked, but I was afraid of some strange girl that I didn’t know staring me down in the hallway without saying a word. I tried to avoid her to no avail, and she eventually touched me on my arm.
A Love Life in Denial
Before this happened, I’d already been living in this sort of romantic limbo. On the one hand, Thanks to Disney and Christianity, I believed that I had wanted to be married to a man one day. On the other hand, I made my female dolls like each other, and also had crushes on girls. I fought crushes and rumors of me being gay all the way up until high school, when I learned about bisexuality from a friend at the time. I accepted the title of “bisexual”, but I just opted to date boys for a long time because I still wanted to go to heaven.
As a young adult, I met the man that I’d eventually marry. Looking back, I realized that it really was bondage for me in more ways than I was aware of at the time. After we divorced, and in between our brief “rekindlings”, we dated other people, and I was determined to get this love thing right. It became a job to me. So I dated around, leaving droplets of my self-esteem, money and time behind with each man that I “tried to have something with”.
By this time, I’d begun seriously looking at women as a viable option and making myself available to them, but they’d always prefer to have me as a friend, so I stuck with what I knew–men. But it was as if they all knew something that I didn’t. Men would explain to me that they felt that I was hot and cold with them, and they didn’t feel like I was truly interested. The women seemed like they were waiting for me to fully step into who I was and they didn’t want to hurt me (or so they said) while I figured it out.
After years of time, money and energy wasted, I decided to take a break from dating and focus on myself long enough to figure out exactly what I wanted. And it didn’t take long. I realized that I never really liked men for who they were. I liked women for who they were. I liked men because they wanted me.
The biggest lesson: regardless of another person’s motives, intentions or behavior, if you don’t feel good in a space, there’s probably a reason for that, and it’s okay to walk away, and if it feels good, try it! It doesn’t have to involve a relationship; it could be ANY part of your life. You will really begin to maximize your life when you begin living it authentically. The impact that you can make just by being yourself is astounding.
Looking back on that moment with Samantha, I laugh often. I obviously don’t think she turned me into a lesbian, but she was magically authentic and shared that with me. She did what she felt, no matter how unconventional. Also, it’s hilarious to watch how annoyed people get when they ask, “What made you turn gay?” and I tell them about the girl who poked my arm in elementary school.
Merira spent a year in the Temple of Ankhwadjet, learning the mysteries of the Kamitic sciences, and emerged a priestess of the goddess HetHeru. Her specialties: oracle readings and creating oils and herbal blends for spiritual and health purposes. As a psychology major and Navy veteran, she has dedicated her practice to being a catalyst for self-creation and discovery.