Every queer person gets this question at some point in life. Often more than once, usually in different ways. Sometimes it's from that great aunt that you never liked anyway who asks it like she's got something stuck up her nose, and sometimes it's from a baby gay who asks it because they're trying to figure it out for themselves. But regardless, it's going to be asked.
Every time I get this question, for some reason, the answer that I go to is when I realized I had my first crush on a girl, which is actually a double layered answer, because I didn't really know you could have crushes on your same gender until middle school, even though said crush was around third grade. So I usually say something along the lines of, "Well I had my first crush around third grade, although I didn't really understand what it meant until later, but I kind of pushed that feeling aside until I was ready to deal with it." And people understand, it's pretty rare for me to have to elaborate more.
But what's funny is that my girlfriend and I were talking the other night, swapping stories about when we realized we weren't exactly like everyone else, or little signs that meant we should have noticed earlier, and it brought forth memories that I had long ago forgotten.
Do you guys remember the PowerPuff Girls? I was so in love with Buttercup, I kind of wanted to be her even though I wasn't nearly that rough or tumbly or badassy, but when I got a little older and noticed people were drawing fanart of the girls, so so many of them have Buttercup as a butch lesbian, and it caused this whole bucket of realization to drop on my head. (I would also like to mention, though, that my personal favorite fancanon is trans boy Buttercup because I mean look.) And I had to have been watching that show, what, maybe even before elementary school?
And thought about school, and there was this girl in my Kindergarten class who I was so in awe of because she had this beautiful, thick, dirty blond hair that she wore every day in a braid that fell down to her waist. I really thought that the whole reason I thought she was so cool was because I would never have hair like that, but to this day, I am still really, really attracted to girls with long hair.
Then another memory that came to me was back in the Blockbuster days (hello 90s kid), walking around and looking at movies with my mom. I was still young enough to be holding her hand - and seeing the freaking Wild Things VHS. It was obviously a grown up movie and I had zero idea of what the plot was but I would think to myself that I couldn't wait to be old enough to watch it. Take a look at the cover. There was no way my desire for it was not gay.
So anyway, thank you to coming to my Ted Talk about finding out I was much gayer much younger than I actually thought I was.
What about you? When did you know you were gay? How far back can you trace it?