Today is National Coming Out day! And in celebration of that, I wanted to share the prologue and part of Chapter One of Becoming. It’s completely unedited and subject to change.
But before I let you read it, I wanted to say something. Just a little something, since I’m tired, and I keep mixing up all of my words.
Remember to love who you are. It doesn’t matter who your heart draws you to, you deserve happiness. You deserve the life altering, heart stopping, I feel like I’m flying, kind of happiness and love. You are worthy of it. You are worthy of having a happy life, free of the chains that keeps you hiding. You are worth every second of it. Gay, straight, or a freaking alien, you deserve to wear a smile every single day.
This is unedited and subject to change.
© 2015 Danielle Ione
Gay. Bisexual. Lesbian. These words were never apart of my vocabulary growing up. In fact, those words were something of a sin in my household. My parents were the stereotypical overly religious types. Not that it’s bad to have faith, it’s just they seemed to have this weird outlook on the way I, and the rest of the world, should live their lives. And although I grew up with that kind of influence, I didn’t have the same beliefs. I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around everyone being destined to be the same.
I mean, look around you, no one looks the same, we don’t all act the same, hell, we don’t even think the same, so how could we all be expected to live up to the same standards? It just didn’t make any sense. Not then, and it still didn’t now as a new adult in this world.
I was homeschooled and I know that it affected the way I interacted with people, making me painfully awkward and shy but it didn’t mean that I was sheltered. I knew there was such a thing as an LGBTQ community, I knew that you didn’t have to be gay to hook up with someone of the opposite sex, I also knew that you could be attracted to both sexes, I knew this, however I didn’t think it could ever apply to me.
It’s not like being a homeschooled kid allowed me to have the most healthy social life, especially not with overprotective parents like mine. In fact, I had never been in a situation where I could actually explore the feelings I had in a healthy way. All I knew was that when it came to the idea of love and my future, it didn’t seem like it was all black and white. And in reality, it wasn’t. Not for me, and not for thousands of other people out there either. But it didn’t really click until I moved out on my own, far away from my family and my sheltered life, and close to an environment where I could spread my wings and just discover me.
Who was I? What was I about? Where was my life going?
I didn’t know the answer to any of those questions, but I wanted to find out. I wanted to be able to look someone in the eye, shake their hand, and say “I’m Lily and this is who I am.” But, I couldn’t. And it took falling for a straight woman and forming an unexpected bond with the girl from school to put me on my path to discovery. It wasn’t an easy road, trying to find yourself when you don’t even know where to start, but having someone like Cambria in my life to hold my hand and show me the way made it a little easier, and a lot more exciting.
When you look into a mirror, you’re supposed to see the person you are. Your reflection is supposed to match up with the way you feel inside, but as I stood in front of the looking glass, all I could see is the face of a woman who had no idea who she was. A woman who had more questions than answers when it came to her true identity.
I tucked my long dark hair behind my ears, and inspected my face, as if it might be able to clue me in to the answers to my mental inquisition. But, as always, I came up blank.
No new responses.
Just the same uncertainty hiding behind my hazel eyes.
I wanted nothing more for it to be easy. For me to see myself, and know with complete confidence, who I am. But, it wasn’t as simple as asking the mirror for all the answers to my life’s most complicated questions. I wish all I had to do was look at the glass and say “Mirror, Mirror on the wall who’s the girl in front of you after all?” And for it to answer me with the utmost clarity that I, Lily Chambers, was the girl with her life on track, her future bright, and her love life, her sexual identity, within reach.
But, this wasn’t a fairy tale.
I sighed, as I brushed my bone straight hair, letting the way the bristles trailing across my scalp relax me.
Every day when I looked at my reflection, every day that I left the house, I became a giant ball of stress, and today was no exception. Having to make appearances in public was exhausting and only perpetuated the confusion that rushed through me. It only made it more difficult to lie, to pretend, to avoid the truth.
I wasn’t unaware. I knew it. I knew who I was attracted to, but I avoided it like the plague and I kind of figured that eventually, being blissfully oblivious, would work out in my favor. What you don’t acknowledge can’t touch you, right?
As I swiped the round brush of black across my thick lashes, I tried to push it all out of my head. You would think it would be easy, out of sight, out of mind, I mean, I’ve done that daily since the pesky thoughts started infiltrating my mind during my childhood, but it’s not. When the truth demands to be told, it’s like fighting a war to keep in held in.