Dear Diary: Swinging From the Lights
If you can imagine it, I was a pretty normal teenage girl. I was obsessed with the Backstreet Boys and made terrible makeup decisions. I really wanted to be Mimi from The Drew Carey Show, okay? I had my first boyfriend; we talked on the phone when my family was not at church. But in the midst of all that, I was harboring a secret. I had a crush on my best friend.
It was the early 2000s and we lived within two miles of churches in either direction. Once during a sleepover, we practiced kissing with each other. There were butterflies in my stomach and it was much different than kissing a boy. It was easier and lighter. But there was a sinking feeling that it was wrong. The pastor was not one to preach fire and brimstone, but he got the point across. I was sure I was going to hell so I leaned hard into being as hetero as possible to the point of marrying someone I barely knew the day after high school graduation.
I stayed in touch with my best friend off and on. By my third year of marriage, I was miserable. I got on the phone with my best friend. There may have been some wine as I confessed my puppy love for her after all those years. I also confessed to cheating on my husband through tears. She reassured me and told me, “I don't care what you do in the bedroom. Swing from the lights for all I care as long as you are happy.”
That was the day I decided to search for my truth. It was that glimmer of hope that helped me leave my now ex-husband and stay gone. It showed me that I wasn't wrong. I just need to be happy. It took me about seven more years to come to terms with my sexuality, but I did it while swinging from the lights.
Until next time,
Dear Diary is an ongoing identity series by Raven Farmer. Raven currently lives in Benton, Louisiana and is striving to find the balance between paganism, queerness, motherhood, and wifehood.