I've loved Jesus since I was a little girl. My mother raised me by herself for many years and taught me by example what it means to trust God for provision. Church was one of my favorite places to be. I loved singing worship songs. I was a "star student" at Sunday School and VBS, and had what's often called "childlike faith". I was told that God loved me and nothing would ever change that. For my self conscious, socially awkward self who often felt rejected by peers, this brought a sense of security.
I felt atypical throughout childhood and adolescence. The "girly girl" mold never never really fit. I never could name or pinpoint why I felt different, though. There was always the general expectation that girls should hang out with girls, and guys with guys. My experience was the total opposite. I didn't have much interest in doing "girl things" and felt more comfortable hanging out with the guys.
Looking back, I see that I started "noticing" girls AND guys in 8th grade. I'd develop crushes on guys and try awkwardly flirting with them. But I'd also catch myself admiring the beauty and personalities of female classmates in ways that I now know were crushes.
I knew that attractions to guys were normal, as I'd been given the purity/abstinence/hormones talk by my youth pastors. I proudly wore my purity ring and committed to saving sex for marriage. I wasn’t alarmed by my attractions to girls, as they seemed to just arise naturally. I think all the internalized teachings against homosexuality prevented me from recognizing them as crushes.
However, I was eventually confronted with my sexuality during freshman year of high school.Read More