- Posted December 7, 2012 by
Johns Island, South Carolina
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Same-sex marriage hearings: Your thoughts
This is the life.
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
When I got to college the feeling became much stronger. I dated boys, but I never got past a month. It just never felt right. I never felt comfortable. I would hate myself more than anything. I thought I was cursed. Meanwhile, I was thinking about women more, but I would tell myself it's normal and I'm straight. "I just have bonds with women. That's all." Yeah, okay crazy lady. It was a total battle. I even Googled women having intimate feelings about women to see if it was a normal thing. I was petrified of being gay. Friends had their suspicions, which made me want to curl up and do a cannonball off a bridge. My parents always got excited about when I went on a date with a guy, and I would always tell my Mom I just wanted to be single. I don't want to get married and have kids. I knew it wasn't going to happen, I just didn't want to admit to myself why. I thought maybe I'm just the independent girl that has a lot of friends, but doesn't need a man! Yeah!
No. Fast forward to 4 years. When I was 26, I had a secret crush on a gay woman I was friends with, and one night she called me out on it. Not my crush. But that I might be gay. I quickly objected. After I hung up the phone, everything changed. I can't even explain that moment. It was as if I gave up my own inner fight and finally threw in the towel. I was exhausted. All the walls came crashing down and I finally admitted to myself that I was gay. Crying hysterically and wanting to run away from the world might I add. I was so embarrassed that I had been called out. I felt naked. I was so afraid of what was next - coming out to my friends and family.
In reality, the next day when I woke up, it was a whole new world. I felt 1,417 times lighter. I felt free. I felt like my life was about to begin. I just knew that everything was going to be okay. I came out to my best friends who showered me with love and congrats and we knew its. Later, I quit my job doing marketing for Chick-fil-A (oddly enough), and started my own company. I felt like I finally had control over my life, and I was finally ME. Happy. Then 5 months later, I met Julie, my partner and the love of my life. Everything fell into place exactly as it should. It was like I flipped my life upside down.
However, I still hadn't come out to my parents yet. In truth, I felt like I needed to have a serious relationship to prove to them I was gay because I had dated guys all along. I didn't want them to think I was bisexual, which they did question at first. But once I asked them who I was always crying about, boys or girls, it made sense. I came out to them over Skype (on National Coming Out Day nonetheless), and ever since they have been nothing but loving and supportive with giant open arms, and I am so grateful to have amazing parents like them.
It was a little awkward at first, because I felt like I had two lives. Past Jordan, and Present Jordan. It was all so new and surreal. It is still weird to live with at times, mainly when old stories are brought up, but it's a part of me. Even though it took me a while to figure out I was gay, I couldn't be more grateful to have come out at the time I did. Everyone noticed how I changed. I was happier, more comfortable, and carefree. Still am. I know I wasn't pleasant to be around while I struggled, but at least my true colors now shine. My mind has less background noise and I feel so much at peace, especially with Julie by my side. My life truly has begun and I know it's only going to get better from here. Hopefully.
We're riding a serious wave here folks. Being gay is not a choice. Love is equal. Love chooses us. I want to grow old and die with Julie. I want to be treated as her partner, not a friend. I don't want to be faced with a situation where I am not allowed in her hospital room or vice versa. How would you feel? Granted there is power of attorney, but it's the fact that we have to do that that's messed up. I want to be treated equal. I promise nothing bad will happen other than a killer hangover if equal rights are approved.
We celebrated our 3 year anniversary this year. Every year so far we have gotten a new ring from the same maker during our anniversary trip to the mountains. We plan to do so every year until we can have one permanent ring to put on our fingers. The thought of being able to marry Julie and celebrate with our friends and family makes my heart want to burst with happiness. I cannot wait and I hope our dream is closer to becoming a reality than we think. THIS is the civil rights issue of our time. I'm living in it. So are you. Let's make history!