Finding the rainbow


I sat alone in my blue Toyota, the June heat pierced my windshield and toasted my legs. With shaky hands, I typed out my message. “I’m tired of hiding this…I’m bi…I’ve been terrified to tell you guys.”

After typing my last word, I hit send and immediately locked my phone. I set my phone in my cup holder and stared blankly at my steering wheel for a response. I could feel my heartbeat in my throat — seconds seemed to pass like hours. My phone buzzed. My short breaths became nonexistent as I cautiously picked up my phone and turned the screen to face me.

My screen was full of messages from my two best friends telling me how much they loved me. Tears rushed to my eyes. I knew in my heart that they were going to accept me, and the fear and frustration I lived with for months seemed pointless.

I had spent much of my childhood and adolescence hating who I was. In middle school, I desperately tried to fit in with the popular crowd because I was dissatisfied with myself. They seemed so confident, and I craved that level of happiness. I wore what was on trend. I listened to the Top 40. I became someone I wasn’t.

When I entered high school and lost those friends, I found myself in limbo. I hated myself, everything about me. I had no idea who I was outside of my previous group. “Alex Anderson” was a mix-match of other people’s personality traits, nothing of her own.

When I began questioning my sexuality, I felt like I was finally seeing the pieces go together, but they weren’t fitting together yet.

Not only was I isolating my true self, I felt like I was hiding from my friends in fear of being rejected.

Even though I knew they would support me unconditionally, I had spent months convincing myself that my friends were going to discredit my coming out by telling me I was wrong about my own sexuality. I emotionally isolated myself from them. I felt like I was living someone else’s life and that my family and friends wouldn’t love the real me. There was no valid reason for me to think they wouldn’t accept me once I came out, but fear still consumed me till the moment I read their messages.

Telling my mom, the center of my world, was no easier. After telling my friends, Kendall and Sky, I couldn’t keep it from her anymore. I felt like I was lying to the one person I tell everything to. But I was so afraid she would dismiss my sexuality as a phase that I couldn’t even sit her down to tell her. I blurted it out to her during a conversation one night. When she finally heard and understood what I said, she showered me with love and acceptance.

The overwhelmingly positive response from my family and friends is what allowed me to truly love who I am and made me feel like my sexuality was something to hide.

 After I fully realized my sexuality, I felt like I finally found who I was and could stop trying to be someone I wasn’t. I love who I am, and this experience has created a new confidence within me. I no longer feel like a lost child, desperate to fit in and find herself. Now, I am my own person. I am beginning the next chapter of my life — a chapter in which I get to unapologetically be myself.