L – “Today I’m her wife”
I am glad to be the first one to write about my thoughts during this week devoted specifically to our diverse community. For me, to hold the pride flag and to be able to proudly state I am a lesbian feels very liberating for personal reasons I’ve learned to speak of and share.
When I first realized my attraction for women, I was in my teenage years. It didn’t feel wrong at first, I was aware of the LGBT+ community at that point. However, I attended a religious school in a country heavily influenced by conservative religious beliefs, which made it impossible for me to express or experience young innocent love. Once I realized how bad it was in the eyes of adults and peers I saw daily, I began feeling like what I felt was wrong after all. I learned to hide it; if I ever spoke of it out loud, it was woven into jokes, masked under layers of discomfort. To them, people like me were nothing more than sinful demons. I constantly witnessed others around me speaking of “sinful homosexual lifestyle”, and it confused me – they spoke of broken psyche, sexual deviants and abuse, meanwhile I didn’t engage in or experience any of it. My teenage years were spent on hours of introspection and over-analyzing, making sure to stay low and keep it quiet. But it wasn’t until I experienced sexuality-related rejection that I truly began worrying whether I would end up alone and miserable for simply being myself.
Thankfully, despite all this, I never tried stopping myself from feeling the way I did. I accepted it as it came, and before the school was even over, I learned to be proud of it. I knew I was not an evil person, regardless of what I was told.
Soon enough, I began openly speaking of my love for women, thanks to the internet and support I found there. It was also through there that I met a wonderful person I never thought I’d meet. A few years later, I moved to live with her. Today, I am her wife.
Pride to me means being able to hold hands with my wife in public not only as a casual act of closeness, but as a revolt and rebellion against the masses who continue to believe I should not. It means I can be a living proof to everyone who’s tried telling me I was sinful and wrong that their words were nothing but lies – and that even though they tried, they did not kill the beautiful way in which I, too, can experience love. There are laws we need to change, abolish or implement, and we need to continue fighting for our freedom to love and be heard. But I am proud to say that my mind is free. I feel comfortable in the way I experience the world, and nobody can take that away from me.
As final words, remember you are good enough. And you can and should be proud of yourself and your identity, even if the world around you claims otherwise.
– Amb K.
This article has been translated to Finnish as well, you can read it here