How would you describe your sexual identity?

I’m a lesbian.

Was this acceptable where you grew up?

[The city I lived in] accepted it. My friends accepted it. The streets were rough but not because of that. But, I lived with my aunt and uncle who had a harder time accepting it.

Was that hard?

Not really. I still did what I want. Eventually they just had to accept it.

How did you know someone was interested in you?

Everyone was blunt, they’d probably tell me or just go for it. I’d probably do the same. We don’t waste time messing around.

So what were acceptable dating or hookup activities?

If you were dating nothing was off limits [laughs]. If you were hooking up…well, nothing was off limits either [laughs].

Does that apply to just you or your friends?

That applies to just about everyone I knew in [the city].

Coming from such a liberal background, was it difficult being with [F] at first?

Definitely. I’m used to holding nothing back but she wasn’t used to that. There was a learning curve.

How did your friends and family react when you came out?

It wasn’t really news to them. Not a big deal.



How would you describe your sexual identity?

Well, it’s fluctuated in the past but now I know I’m a lesbian. It took a long time for me to figure that out, though.

Why is that?

I grew up in an extremely religious household. My dad was a pastor and wanted to have a model family. We were forced to wear long skirts and not cut our hair. Dating was pretty much forbidden. Gay people were doomed sinners in their eyes.

Did they let you date?

Not really. I saw a couple guys behind their backs but they kept pretty good tabs on us. I didn’t get the freedom to experiment until I went to college. A dated a few guys but never really enjoyed it. Then I met [G]…and here I am [laughs].

Coming from such a conservative background, was it difficult being with [G] at first?

At first, sorta. I got super embarrassed really easily because I wasn’t used to dating or going so fast. But I knew I wanted to, and [G] made me feel comfortable like no guy ever could.

How did your friends and family react when you came out?

Disappointed. Angry. Upset. You name it. But I don’t care. I’m happy with exactly who I am.



This week I interviewed a couple, [G] and [F]. The both grew up in the same city, but in entirely different worlds. [G] came from a rough part of the city, where it’s not safe to walk the streets alone and crime rates are through the roof. Her friends and the people she knew didn’t really care about different sexual identities and engaged in whatever sexual activities they wanted without any judgement or second thought. Although her caregivers didn’t exactly condone her behavior, they didn’t really try to stop it either. [G] was pretty much free to do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted.

[F], however, didn’t live in a rough part of town. She lived in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, with her father’s church being less than a mile away. Her family was extremely religious and it prevented her from experiencing many things outside of the church. The church looked down on dating, believing it was a gateway to acts of sin. Because of this, there wasn’t really a chance for [F] to date until she was already an adult. She didn’t know any dating rules or norms, so she didn’t know what to do. The men she dating preferred more experienced women, so nothing ever worked out. Nothing felt right to her until she started dating [G], in which she firmly knew she preferred women.

It was easy for [G] to figure out she was a lesbian. She grew up in a culture where it was okay to experiment and date many people, so it was never a problem. On the other hand, it was very difficult for [F] to come to the same conclusion. Her family shunned sexuality and anything related to it. She was taught to remain pure and save her virginity. Once she got the notion that her virginity equals purity out of her head, she was able to discover her true sexual identity and feel no shame for it. [F] even remains a little religious today, but she believes sexuality is a social construct that doesn’t affect her spirituality. These women lived just a few miles apart, but their friend’s and family’s ideas of sexuality where vastly different. Despite that, they were able to overcome their differences to be together.