My First Kiss Was a Boy, But My First Love Was A Girl

My First Kiss Was a Boy, But My First Love Was A Girl

The first time I realized the sight of a girl could alter my breath was the sixth grade.

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The first time I realized the sight of a girl could alter my breath was the sixth grade.

Just the sight of them, the thought of them, the word itself—girls—and I was frightened so wholly in a way I never had known before.

It was season 2, episode 4 of "Glee." You look down to readjust your atrocious middle school pony tail for one second and lift your head to find Brittany and Santana in a whole new light. You look up to find that your lungs just stuttered and you're not calming down. You look up to find your hands clicking the TV off as fast as humanly possible and running to your room to pretend you didn't just hear the sound of the piece that just clicked into place inside you.



Puberty hadn't yet arrived, but the far-off sight of change was no longer a coming, it came. You're different now.

Day after day, this new sheen about you, brought on by the Glee-inspired revelation, doesn't seem to fade, doesn't seem to budge, doesn't seem to quit you. Other little girls didn't feel that panic I felt. Middle school was supposed to be about swapping my pony tail for a scene fringe, filling countless margins with countless doodles, cutting too many tees into muscle tanks, and breaking the hearts of exactly four middle school boys (sorry, not sorry), not learning to re-calibrate my air flow every time two worlds of mascaraed eyes locked with mine.

The first time locking mascaraed eyes with a living, breathing Aphrodite caused me to act upon my gut's want was in the seventh grade.

She worked at the IGA. Even today, walking through those automatic sliding doors, I can still feel that residual excitement of her having been there many years before. Exactly six and three quarters of a year earlier, every missing ingredient or unquenchable craving became my key excuse to see her.

Long hair. Pale skin. Dark eyes. Her.

You put on your best muscle tank and force your mom to drive the two of you over. Upon checking out, you dart over to this very important looking magazine that just no other cashier station seems to have that just so happens to be working at, in an attempt to make eye contact with those dark eyes for at least one second.

Flash.

They're so dark.

"Here's your receipt."

Did they get darker?

"Have a nice day."

They're practically black.

One day, with an arm full of the cucumbers I absolutely begged mom we needed to get that night, I saw she had changed. A short chop of hair, tucked behind one pierced ear, shining under the fluorescents. Absolutely transfixed. I vowed when I was her age I'd cut my hair too, just like hers. Still do.

Cutting my hair was just one of the many girl-driven desire I would begin to catch myself acting upon. The prevalence my stifled secret had on my metamorphosis became more and more glaringly obvious. Terrifyingly obvious. I went from a cup being held with the utmost care as to not spill its contents to a cup being sat on the roof of a car at a red light. i went from contained to a mess waiting to happen.

I caught myself throwing my hand up constantly to volunteer to play every masculine role allowed to me. Improv, miming, scenes, dancing, choir, the list goes on. You'd catch me blaming it on the humor of it all ("Lauren playing the father, again! Now that's comedy!"), but really it wasn't hard to see that there'd always be too many girls who only wanted to be "the girl" when waltzing, and I was more than happy to lead them around the room while my hand got to graze their hip. More than happy.

And now, an apology to every boy I ever dated. You all remember those many times I begged all of you to let me give you a makeover, or to "just try on my dress just once." Yeah, there was a reason for that. Again, sorry. But honestly, I don't think I actually am, because with a little highlighter, you all looked beautiful.

Along with my newly minted discovery of the lengths boys will go to make their girlfriend happy, was that of one Dodie Clark on YouTube.

Watching the moon beams sparkle on her glittered cheeks, falling asleep night after night to the sweet whispers of her voice, and every morning, drinking in the melted snowflakes of her songs. It was in her I experienced a new type of wholeness from knowing that people like her exist in my life time. It was in her that I realized I was greatly missing out on the tangibility of this wholeness from stifling the expanse of my love.

My cup doth not runneth over. No, my cup laid spilled out, and I had truly felt that emptiness my denial had created for the first time in my life. I had never felt like I was missing out on something until I found her, listened to the memories she described in her songs, and then listened to my lungs stutter all over again. Her song "She" is what finally got me.

"…She smells like lemon grass and sleep…"

Stop it Lauren. You know how boys smell. That's enough.

"…She tastes like apple juice and peach…"

Stop it Lauren. You know how boys taste. That's enough.

I realized the stifling of this revelation wasn't just the burden of concealing a secret. It was the burden of denying a hole of its wish to be filled. This denial couldn't go on any longer. I was incomplete. I needed more. So...

The first time I somewhat admitted it was the tenth grade.

The night prior to a camping trip, I showed my best friend a music video. Nothing would've happened if this certain song didn't seek me out. When Hayley Kiyoko's "Girls Like Girls" came unto my path, I felt an incredible validation. Never has anything so quickly felt like it was wholly mine, connecting to even the most deep and dark of me. Minute by minute, my revelation seemed understood for the first time in my then 16 years, seemed accepted, seemed okay to reveal. I was practically glowing with the possibilities of potential admittance.



That tug to admit wasn't letting me go. My truth was scratching at the back of my teeth for release, but verbal confirmation to not only myself but let alone my longest running best friend was in no way happening. I wasn't ready yet, but at the time I was never going to be readier. So, I shared my glow. I shared with her my truth through those five minutes of synth pop.

You watch as the phone screen fades to black and swallow hard panicking "Who's gonna speak first?" You just go for it and look up at the girl you promised would be your future Maid of Honor, and something surprises you. You look up to find your glow spread across her flushed cheeks.

We clearly had something in common neither of us were saying- at least, not yet.

The next night, back lit by North Carolina blues, she came out to me. The cold I felt was indescribable. She was brave enough to take her step. Yet there I was, icy and bug bitten, still learning to control my ever-shallowing breath. I'd never be that brave.

Heading into my third year of high school, my step was still not taken. However, those two lungs of mine somehow mustered out just enough air to catch the freckled-eye of one of my close friends and alternatively, in one year's time, completely shatter my heart.

I never had my heart broken by a girl before. I do not recommend it.

The first time a girl who truly had me and then changed her mind was the eleventh grade.

I degraded so in her company, so she could restore me. You felt blessed when she let you see her at 3 a.m. You felt holy when she let you cup her fingertips in your own as to not allow her to further sully her already picked skin. We'd sit in her kitchen sipping ramen noodle water while I recorded her sing. When she cut her hair, I thought no one could be more breath taking, but there I was gasping. When she back-peddled on saying she liked girls, I felt something snap off inside me.

I had never given my raw and bleeding heart to a girl before after years of internalized recitations that I was not worthy of the entireties of love. I had never had it given back. I do not recommend it.

So, I swallowed it down again. All of it. The balloons of my truth, a truth that waited years to lift out of me, weren't just being yanked back into their abyss, no…

Pop.

"Nuh uh, we haven't really hung out in a while."

Pop.

"I dunno, we just kinda grew apart."

Pop.

"Of course not. Why would I have a problem that she's dating him?"

Pop.

Graduation. Summer. College. Time went on. You look up from adjusting your atrocious 8 a.m. pony tail and realize you haven't spoken to her in eighth months. Time goes on.

And time did. I was not a freshman in college, and I was happy with my then relationship. As happy as one can be when long-distance love blinks through the phone in your hand- a hand that was surrounded by a sea of hands belonging to Aphrodites and boys waiting to put on your dresses. As happy as finally mastering the quickest way to relevel your heaving chest after swimming through such a sea.

You know, happy enough.

But it was in the healing of my latest love's second time of breaking my heart, that the "enough" would stop being good enough. He left for a girl. But here I was, swallowing down seventeen months of want for papery skinned, butterfly kissed, chipped neon nail polished girls.

What gave him the right to follow his heart when I couldn't?

Pop. You're different now.

The first time everything finally felt whole was only this year.

I wish it was more glamorous, but plain and simple, it was another video. It was this video.

The title alluded me. Even with my many years self-educating my brain on all things activism, "bisexuality" legitimately never seemed like an option to me. My girl thoughts always seemed like something to smother, not walk in tandem with my socially okay-ed boy thoughts.

Something about the simplicity of it all, the nonchalance of this girl, who I have admired and emulated for years, the ease she had set me a fire. This girl simply spills a bag of Skittles and I taste tears. Wait, when had I started crying?

This was it. My revelation poured out of me in sticky salt tears. There go my balloons, my cup, my hole, my secret. Au revoir all. Hello Skittles cravings.

A few minutes of Dodie's song and dance and I'm not me anymore. Finalized. No editing needed. I am better than any me I have ever known, because this me is whole-heartedly free from herself.

19 years. It took 19 years to come clean with myself about a truth I had known for almost half my life.

I dried my eyes, and I said it. Me. As That. I liked the taste of it. The weight of it. The fit of it wrapping around my tongue.

Bisexual.

I slid off my dorm bed, checked my eyes for running mascara, and counted my quarters for the $1.50 needed to by a bag of the Skittles that started all this, and I was happy.

I still am. I am happy. I am proud. I am bisexual.

And I finally—finally—can just breath again.

Cover Image Credit:

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Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

Subtle Ways You May Be Disrespecting Your Friend's Relationship

If they make your friend happy, you shouldn't be doing these things.

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No ones significant other wants to tell them they don't like their friends. And trying to tell anyone not to hang out with the people they're closest too is a disaster waiting to happen.

Some people really just don't like their friend's partner, but others have no idea the damage they may be doing to the relationship. If you are more aware of some things to avoid, hopefully, you, your friend, and their partner can all get along in peace.

1. When you see your friend, make sure to acknowledge their partner.

To be honest, this is a basic courtesy. If you go to say hi to anyone in a group of people, it is polite to greet, or at least acknowledge, everyone there. If you completely ignore that your friend's partner is even there, it will make them feel awkward and neglected. Just say hi.

2. Don't be overly touchy-feely with your friend, especially around their partner.

Obviously, this mostly applies to friends of the opposite sex (for heterosexual couples). Look, there is nothing wrong with having friends of the opposite sex but just know your boundaries. You may think your friend's partner is being jealous for no reason, but are you doing anything that might make them uncomfortable?

You don't need to always have your arm around them or be leaned up against them. It is really inappropriate to kiss them on the cheek or give them super long hugs, even if that is something you did before they had a partner, and even if it is completely platonic.

You can still hug and be close to your friend, just be respectful of their boundaries. If you don't give their partner any reason to be jealous then they will have no basis to dislike you.

3. If you invite your friend somewhere, it is polite to also invite their partner.

Even if you assume your friend's partner is going to come, it is nice to make them feel welcomed. And if you don't want their partner to come, make sure they are not together or planning to be together when you invite your friend.

You don't have to always have their partner around, but don't make it a habit of not inviting them. If they don't feel welcomed around their partner's friends, then they probably won't feel as confident in their relationship.

4. Don't ever bring up your friend's past relationships, especially around their partner.

Even if they are on good terms. Even if you are still friends with their ex. Just don't bring them up. No one wants to hear about their partner's past relationships or flings. It is embarrassing and uncomfortable to have to hear about your partner's exes.

5. If you are all out together, don't try to separate your friend from their partner.

There is a good chance that if you are out with your friend and their partner, their partner does not know many people there. If that is the case, don't try to separate your friend from their partner.

There may be an exception if their partner has friends around too, or if they are outgoing and can talk to anybody easily, but otherwise, it is really awkward to be in that situation alone. They are with their partner for a reason, and it is nice to make their partner feel included as well.

Just don't make it a habit to always pull your friend away.

6. Don't put your friend in any awkward or risky situations.

If your friend is a cheater, that is not really any fault of yours. But don't be the friend who is known for putting your partnered friend in risky situations.

There is nothing wrong with going out occasionally with your friends, but it does not need to be a regular occurrence, especially if it makes their partner uncomfortable.

Along the same lines, if you know an ex-partner or fling will be there, you don't need to put your friend in that awkward situation. Just be aware of the situation and how it might make their partner feel.

To wrap up, you don't need to completely change your relationship with your friend just to make their partner happy; just make sure to be polite and respectful of their partner and their relationship.

These are some subtle things you may be doing that are hurting your friend's relationship that you don't even realize have negative consequences. Simply be more aware of some of these situations and how they could potentially make your friend's partner feel. After all, the best relationships are the ones where your partner's friends also become your friends.

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My BF And I Were 'Just Friends' And Now We're Celebrating Our One Year Anniversary

Dating my best friend was the best decision I have ever made.

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In August 2017, Brendan and I met. A group of friends invited him and me to go to Wendy's after a meeting for a school club. We talked the whole time — the conversation seemed endless in the best way possible. Later that night, I called him to ask him what water balloons I should buy for a celebration the next day. From that day forward, I cannot remember a day where I have not called him. It started off as nothing more as a platonic relationship from my perspective, but he would advocate otherwise.

Fast-forward to January 2018, Brendan and I started seeing each other outside of school. We would make up excuses and white lies to our friends and parents, saying that we were going to the library to study when really we would just sit in the parking lot and talk for hours until he had to drive me home. He became my best friend. I wanted to tell him everything — good news, bad news, stupid rants, my blonde moments, random and unfiltered thoughts. However, day-in and day-out, I kept denying that it was anything more than a friendship. Again, he would argue otherwise.

On April 27, 2018, I gave in.

We were sitting in his parked Dodge Durango, listening to a pop radio station. I was leaning over the center console to rest my head on his shoulder, and we were waiting for the sun to go down at a park. Abruptly, I looked over at him and ironically asked if he would be my boyfriend. For some reason, we did not tell our family or friends for about a month (sorry, Mum and Dad). I wish I would have realized it sooner, but regardless of timing, dating my best friend was the best decision I have ever made.

Christmas 2018Olivia Zidzik

Since then, our relationship has overcome insane distances.

Being 12 miles away turned into 1,601 miles when he went on a service trip to Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic this past summer. It went back to 12 miles for a little while. However, at the end of the summer, it turned into 413 miles when I moved to the University of Kentucky. In October, we were only a few feet apart as I hid behind his car in his school parking lot to surprise him. After I have returned and left home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and spring break, he decided it was time for him to come to Lexington in March 2019.

All the time spent together and apart brings us to our one year — April 27, 2019.

Hey, Brendan: Although we will be 413 miles apart for it, happy one-year. You have been my rock and my best friend for the past 20-some months, and there are not enough thank you's that I can say to express how thankful I am that God put you in my life. I am so beyond grateful and appreciative for everything you have done and sacrificed for me and for us. I cannot wait to see where our journey will go next, but until then — here's to me and you. I love you. See you very very soon.

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