By Madeleine Cull
There was something more about her. I felt something extra for her that I couldn’t quite make sense of at the time. She had a boyfriend. A boyfriend who I would later pursue once they broke up; in what I imagine was a strange attempt to feel closer to someone who was unattainable in my eyes. She had untamed, long brown hair that was always pulled back as she was the star of the basketball team. I don’t remember ever seeing her wear anything that wasn’t basketball shorts and a t-shirt that represented our High School or one of our state’s universities. She rarely wore any makeup, with the exception of mascara. She was likely seen as cute or maybe pretty by most, but to me she was beautiful. Beautiful in a way that couldn’t be explained to others. Perhaps it was her confidence. I found myself wanting always to be near her; every locker break making it a point to pass by in hopes she’d pull me away from the chaos of the halls to say hello.
Fast forward a few years and I’m in college and finally realizing that I’m gay; the process of coming to this realization and subsequently to terms with it will be saved for another story. light bulb. It’s strange how everything from the past finally makes sense once you realize that you’re gay. She was my first girl crush, in the least possible straight-white-girl sense of the term. My verging on obsession of her was me liking her and not knowing. Some people come to the realization that they are gay much earlier, for some it takes their whole lives. Some people realize and never feel they are able to express it because of societal or religious pressures. Thankfully for me, once I finally mustered up the courage to come out post-graduating college, I wasn’t met with backlash and abandonment. A tale that many cannot relate to.
I later found out that she is also gay.
We are married now.
JK /// Life doesn’t work like that.
But I still think about her and laugh at myself for not realizing what a raging homo I was.
M J C