I was going to end PRIDE month with the story of three amazing women, but I felt I needed to make this post more personal.
Sexual behavior is both learnt and biological. I say that because my attitude towards sex and sexuality comes from social norms and cultural expectations.
8, 13, 15, 21, 23…
I am a five-time survivor of rape and I endured an adolescence of sexual abuse. While all of that accounts towards my views on sexuality, the first time I remember looking at a female I was six. I had yet to be scarred by the world of paedophilia. I was on an escalator in Bloomingdales in NJ and this long-legged towering Amazon stood in front of me with nylon cover legs. In my amazement, I reached up and caress her calf with glee. That euphoric moment was cut short with one slap that knock me down the escalator a few steps. Embarrassed and unknowingly ashamed I stood up with not a single tear in my eyes. My Mother’s voice was faint as I stood there looking up and outward at the long-legged Amazon exit the moving stairs. That was my first memory.
My second actionable moment I was about 8 or 9. Rarely did my Mother allow company in the house, but she was the exception. It was a summer afternoon and we were playing in the back room with the door close. We took off all our clothes except for our cotton foral underwear. We placed a pillow between our bodies as my friend mounted me. My Mother walked in on us doing what we thought was kissing. I never saw my friend again, expect from the window in my bedroom. I never really thought much about it then, but later on in life, I would remember her smile, us holding hands and playing in each other’s hair. She used to make me happy. I never experienced that type of happiness in my childhood again.
At 16 I started noticing more pronounced physical reactions to the female gender. I had crushes on girls before, but I wrote them off as me just admiring the popular girls. I was in grade 11 during gym and I found myself both staring and being aroused as I watched a girl I had a crush on getting dressed. Confused and upset I went home and told my Mom about it. Comically I joke about it now, she told me it was the devil and I just needed to drink tea. I drank tea three / four times a day. I even took shots of rum to school in a bottle just to ward away the thoughts. A few weeks later I expressed to my Mother that the urges hadn’t gone away and shortly after I was shipped off to my Father on a private island in the middle of paradise as punishment.
I really had no idea what was going on! It was the most deceiving experience I ever had in my entire life. That moment taught me a lesson in trust. I had this awesome exchange with a Father I only knew in conversation. After an afternoon of fishing and fatherly bounding, I was instructed to put out the fire. We were already set up on the beach, that doubled as his front lawn, with blankets. When I went to go inside, he told me fairies aren’t allowed in his house. He then instructed me to wrap up because the generator that powered the island would be going off. In the blackness of the night wrapped up in a blanket cocoon, I could hear the buzzing of sand flies and mosquitoes as they attempted to burrow through the thick exterior. When the sun rose I knocked on the door asking to come in. My Father asked me if I still liked girls. I exclaimed, “No, I like man!” I would be 25 the next time I acted on a lesbian desire.
Sexuality is both learnt and biological. In my experiences, every instance of my true self was met with punishment. My heterosexual experiences were vile and involuntary. In instances where they were voluntary, it had nothing to do with love or emotion, it was about ego, obligation and expectation or the natural order of things as taught. Now mind you, I find men quite attractive, but the act of sex itself is a one on a scale of one – five. In my lifetime, I have had very few sexual connections.
I was 24 when sexuality confronted me. It was Spring Break. My sister’s and I were in the Bahamas. This was a pivitol moment in my life. We where at a local club that we would frequent when in town. We knew everyone. This was before I drank socially. I was wearing a back out wrap around top with khani booty shorts and an afro. I could feel this women watching me from a distance and everytime I looked up she was closer, until we were standing side by side. I figured she knew me from somewhere. I was rather popular. So, I didn’t meet her with the same Brooklyn energy I would have in the city. She complimented me and then proceeded to enage in flirtatious conversation which was not reciprocated. After shooting her shot she ended the exchange with, “you can fight it all you want, but it’s written all over you.” In response, I probally had sex that night or weekend with a man! I honestly don’t remember. What I do remeber is that I was furious. As far as I was concerned I had rid myself of those thoughts. I was a normal woman, but I wasn’t! To the world I was upset, but in slience, in my bed staring at the celing I was flattered, relieved and scared.
One year later, I found myself in Atlanta kissing on a woman in the frozen food section of the food store. Our signle evening together confirmed everything I had known since the first time I touched that nylon covered calf. It was everything! It was everything that hetrosexual sex wasn’t with one exception. After that I knew! It was like a high I was chasing. I tried to match that energy in hetrosexual conquests.
When my Mother died I wanted to be normal. I figured if I did everything right, the way she wanted, I could somehow be happy. I was miserable, but I was committed! At 28 I reconnected with my friends from college and I shared my realization. No one believed me! So, I never brought it up again, nor did I pursue it. Well, not in the traditional sense of the word. But keep in mind, sex wasn’t associated with love or emotions for me. It has always been about ego, lust and power because of how it was introduced in my life.
Sexual behavior is both learnt and biological. I say that because, for me, I am who I am because of my environment’s attitude towards various sexual attributes in gender roles. However, biologically I fall within the 2-4% of the population that identifies as LGBTQ.