Posted in Blog

Embracing my True Self… and Alex Strangelove

I have so much to write about, so much more pressing events, as I’ve been away and also been super busy with Uni. I’ve also started working, part- time! But more on that later.

I feel like this post has just been burning up inside of me.

Since I came out at a lesbian, everybody has had something to say about it, especially considering I was seemingly straight my entire life before coming out, and more so that my first girlfriend happens to be trans. Even my girlfriend doubts that I’m gay, because according to her I’ve “never tried it with a real girl before” (these are her words by the way, not mine. I see her as a real girl, which is why I’m still with her after coming out).

But here’s the thing, I know who I am. I’ve always known it. Having to pretend for so long drove me crazy. I went to a girls’ school, where I was attracted to my friends, but because everybody in a girls’ school takes the piss out of lesbians, I never admitted my feelings to anybody, not even my closest friends. I even remember masturbating in my secondary school best friend’s house, during a sleep over, while thinking about her. I felt so ashamed. It didn’t help that I was born into a Catholic home and had to endure a strict Pentecostal upbringing, where I was taught that relationships were created to be “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”.

So as soon as I went away to University, I lost my virginity to the first guy who showed interest in me and I didn’t stop trying to prove my straightness to the world after popping my cherry.

alex-strangelove-netflix-before-after

(Image source)

I’ve just finished watching Alex Strangelove, a new Netflix film, about a boy, Alex, who realises that he’s gay during his senior year in high school, while dating his best friend (a girl). He tries and fails epically to lose his virginity, because he’s fallen in love with a guy. He then breaks up with his girlfriend and because he’s still in denial about his sexuality, he goes to a frat party immediately after, to try and hook up with the first girl who shows interest in him. He also plans to sleep with as many girls as he possibly can once he goes away to college, in a bid to run away from his true identity – a gay man. This resonated so much with me, it was unreal. Many of my friends were so shocked when I came out, and are still in denial about my sexuality because of the simple fact that I used to go on about cock so much. I would talk about loving it and wanting it – especially when I first broke up with my ex-boyfriend two years ago. I even went on a shagging spree after our break up, hoping to leave behind my confusion. I actually find cocks repulsive and each time I had sex with a guy, afterwards I would feel soiled, but I buried the feelings deep inside of me, hoping that they wouldn’t resurface.

When my current partner and I first got together, the attraction for me was that I was falling in love with my best friend. I didn’t know that my partner was transgender when we first met, but I remember feeling like the attraction wasn’t like anything I had felt with any guy before. It felt feminine.

So when friends also say to me, oh perhaps you’re pansexual (attracted to a person regardless of their gender), again, I cannot agree.

What I love the most about the film, Alex Strangelove, is why critics have commented on how the film dismisses or erases bisexuality, I disagree. It targets the notion that people carry that if you’re struggling with your sexuality, or suddenly “appear to be gay” then you’re probably not, which is dismissive and hurtful to people like me, who are trying to come out to their loved ones and closest friends, only to be greeted with this retort instead of open mindedness. And no, embracing bisexuality or pansexuality is not a sign of “open mindedness” when you are deliberately dismissing homosexuality. When Alex tried to talk to his best friend about his feelings for another guy, his best friend also dismisses Alex’s feelings as “just a man crush”. The amount of times I tried to dismiss my feelings for other girls as “just girl crushes” I cannot even begin to count.

When my partner eventually told me that she was transgender, it was a huge relief. I’d guessed, but I was also relieved to discover that I had in fact fallen in love with a woman, who just happened to be living  as a guy when I met her.

I can only imagine how different my life would’ve been, if I’d been as brave as people like Alex who came out in their younger years. In the finale of the film, there is a montage of YouTubers, who like Alex, post a “coming out” video to the world. They are all young people – either in their late teens and some possibly early twenties – and they look so happy and liberated. I really wish I had been true to myself, not worried about what my mother would think of me (considering we’re no longer talking, it really wasn’t worth pretending to be straight to keep her love and approval) and saved myself a lifetime of heartache. It was awesome to see a young black girl in the montage too, which brings me to my next point. Loads of people claim that it’s patronising to say to somebody that they are brave for coming out. Bitch please. When you’re black and queer, you’re risking everything to be who you truly are. If that isn’t bravery, then fucking shoot me in the minge. 

To anybody reading this, who is afraid to live their true life, please know that I am here for you. Don’t break your own heart to please a world that doesn’t give a shit about you. Show yourself the love you deserve by living your true life.

xoxo

 

Author:

I’m Cece Alexandra and I have Epilepsy. Since being diagnosed, my life has changed significantly. After studying and teaching Humanities and Literature for all of my adult life, I was bullied and lost my job a month before qualifying to become an English Teacher. Once you fail the Teacher Training course in England, you cannot ever retrain; I then became too sick to work because of my Epilepsy. I am now currently studying an MSc in Mental Health Psychology with the University of Liverpool. My disability provokes me into raising awareness for invisible disabilities, which I also actively partake in with Epilepsy Action. Part of that awareness is to help fight against invisible disability discrimination - I believe that this behaviour is not cognitively unconscious; modern society is actively partaking in a hierarchy of disabilities and I believe that there is not enough psychological research to prove this. I am also clinically interested in Cultural Psychology - particularly Collectivist Culture, and wish to pursue this further in my academic career.

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