Did I Always Know?

This is such a weird question to me. I don’t know. When do people start to know?

I’ve always known that I find women incredibly attractive, but when I was a teenager the level to which that was normalised seems a lot more than now, like obviously all women find women attractive, it doesn’t mean you’re queer… except that it did for me.

Even when I started to have crushes on girls I always thought it was just ordinary, or maybe I was trying to be different. I’m not entirely sure where that came from except that I was not a very confident teenager in some respects, and very very prone to think the worst about myself based on what other people said. Well, people who were respected authority figures to me I guess I mean. and as long as I can remember as a kid I was told that I was attention seeking and a show-off and that I was, as a child or adolescent incredibly suscpetible to what people told me to think. Which, come to think of it, did not square well with being also told that I didn’t take other people’s opinions enough into account.

The level of self-doubt in my sense of self, in my sense of who I was that was inculcated into me as a child, is in retrospect horrific. It’s massive. It’s also apparently really not unique to my experience but actually standard girl upbringing according to half the feminist podcast hosts I listen to. I obviously got the additional self-doubt into my own sexuality. Some experimentation and forty years on I can confirm I definitely like girls, yes like that, very much.

Did I always know? No, because I was taught to doubt myself to an incredibly extent as a child and I was taught that I shouldn’t trust my instincts. Something I’m only lately realising are very, very good. The tric is knowing what is instinct and what is taught prejudice and my own insecurities. In some ways I think I’m only now knowing who I am and what my sexuality is, but then really I suspect that this is because self-knowledge of all types is a life long activity.

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