Once upon a time, I thought I was straight.
I was the first girl to geek out over Troy Bolton’s killer abs and mega cute hair. I wore my high school boyfriend’s hoodie with pride, over my private school pleated skirt. From the first boy-girl party, to hooking up on the dance floor, I was never the awkward girl in the corner, contemplating the virtues of vagina over the later. I kissed boys and giggled about it with girls and acted like every other straight, hormonally-charged teenager.
But despite my behavior, everything was wrong.
I didn’t actually care about the teen heartthrob of the week, and frankly the smell of cologne on my boyfriend’s hoodie made me want to gag. He was nice and all, but he could have ignored me for days and I would have considered it a blessing. My mind would drift when we would make out at the movies, and my heart never fluttered when he looked into my eyes. Did I know then? Maybe. But it took joining my sorority to finally figure it all out, and not for the reason you might think, perverts.
I joined my chapter the fall of my sophomore year, and I fell in love. I was in love with our purpose. Our philanthropy. Our values. I loved walking through the doors and feeling like I belonged, and I loved having a home away from home. I clicked instantly with the girls from my pledge class, and don’t even get me started on all of our older members. I wanted them all to be my big, and I couldn’t get enough of my sisterhood. However, I digress. The fall of my sophomore year, something else happened. Something that changed the way I saw everything.
Before, the butterflies people talked about? Oh hell no. I had never felt them. I considered it an ode to my black soul that I felt nothing, ever. And thank God for that, because feelings are stupid. But one perfectly basic day, they hit me like a Sunday hangover. The hair. Laugh. Eyes. Smile.
It took all of ten minutes to understand what was happening to me, and when I realized? I cried. But not because I was afraid of what my future would be like, and not because I was afraid that this girl wouldn’t like me back. I didn’t care what my family would think or what society would think. I honestly didn’t care about anything other than the ultimate question,
“What will my sisters say?”
I was terrified that I would be kicked out. I was new. I had just joined, and wasn’t even technically a member yet. Could they do that? Could they kick me out for being gay? Will they treat me differently? Will they think I only want their lady bits? Will they still love me? I panicked. I weighed the pros and cons, and I decided whether or not to say anything. Then one day, after spending so long stressing out, I decided to just do it.
So I took a leap of faith.
One fateful evening, I decided to take one of my older sisters out for a casual Starbs run. Nothing out of the ordinary. This particular sister was California beautiful – tall, gorgeous, and particularly basic. Call it whatever you want, but she was the perfect test subject. If she, a stereotypical Greek girl could accept me, than anyone in my chapter could.
So, I did it.
Me: “So. I’m seeing someone…”
Her: “Ohmigod no way. WHO”
Me: “Wanna see a pic?”
Her: “OBVI.” (I hate us)
Her: “OH. She’s so cute! Totally your type.”
And that was that. Not even a moment of hesitation.
In that moment, I couldn’t have felt more infinite. LOL kidding that was mega gay. But it was then that I knew everything would be okay. My sisters weren’t there to judge me. They weren’t expecting me to be exactly like them, or to conform to their ways. They were there to love me. To love me unconditionally and completely and exactly as I am. That’s why I could finally come out. That’s why I could finally be myself.
This story is not just for me. It’s not just to say that I was strong, or brave, or finally got to be who I was meant to be. It’s for the girl who’s afraid to come out, because of some bullshit stigma that’s associated with Greek life. You can be out, and you can be proud. Your sisters will love you, because they chose you, out of everyone else, to call their family. My sisters are my confidants, my wingmen, and the reason I am not afraid to be one hundred percent myself.
Lean on them, and be who you are. They wouldn’t want you any other way..