Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m straight. Hi, my name is Amanda and I like girls. Hi my name is Amanda and I’m bi-curious. Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m not sure what’s going on with me, lately.
Reflecting on growing up, middle school era, I recall my mom asking me are you gay? It was a question that insulted me because, why would I be? I had crushes on boys, had “boyfriends” when I wasn’t supposed to, stayed up talking on the phone til 4am with boys and even (laughably) envisioned myself marrying some of them. Gay? Me? Absolutely not! You liked what/who you liked and dassiit. I was Amanda, and I was definitely straight.
I was around seven years old the first time I stumbled across porn. It was one of those late night things, where you’re flipping through the channels using a cable box and remote that looked like this and accidentally went too far in the 80’s or something. I vividly remember two girls being on the screen and my pupils dilating immediately. I wasn’t sure what was so fascinating about the porn because I didn’t really know what sex was yet, but I knew that seeing two girls being intimate with each other was mind blowing and made me curious about what people did with each other behind closed doors.
I also recall being young (the age range escapes me) and being fascinated by my mom’s Victoria Secret catalogs. I’d sit in our sun-lit Pelham Parkway apartment bathroom (2608 Bronx Park East Apt. 4B to be exact) and gawk at the exposed models. The way the colorful thongs popped off their skin, the way their perfect curls or delicate strands of hair fell over their lips, how their breast had shimmery specks of dew all over…it enticed me. My mom had these V.S. catalogs to find things to buy for herself, and I looked at these catalogs the same way a pubescent boy did under the covers with Playboy… But, like I said, I was Amanda, and I was definitely straight.
I have never had any real experiences with a girl — not a kiss, a cuddle, holding hands intimately, nothing. Throughout middle and high school I never thought about it, I was boy-obsessed. I loved the attention from guys, considering my self-esteem issues, and never thought twice about my sexuality. It came up a couple of more times during this time period… the, are you gay? And, of course… I was not. I was Amanda, and I was undoubtedly straight. At this point it was annoying to have to answer this because I wasn’t questioning myself at all.
That is until I sent a weird text to a girl I didn’t even know in real life (only through Twitter). I asked her if I could explore my sexuality with her. We definitely had one of those pen-pal relationships, where you confide in someone you met online so much that you feel a connection, so it wasn’t fully awkward. Ya girl just doesn’t do stuff like that, right? To my surprise, she was with it as long as I took her out on a date first because, “you not just going to get the goods without at least getting to know me in person.” While it was a very fair and respectable request, I don’t even know if I like girls… Why the hell would I take her out on a date and spend my money, when I’m used to it being the one treated? Girl(s), bye.
That was my short-lived, one-and-only, first and last “experience” with a girl.
I let that curiosity die down and get buried deep, amongst all of my other negative experiences, fears and failures in life. Then, my freshman year of college I saw this mahogany-toned hispanic girl that I couldn’t stop staring at. She wasn’t anything mind-blowing, very simple — no makeup, no fashion sense, nothing really eye-catching about her, but she caught mine. I couldn’t figure out why I was obsessed with her or if I even felt any sexual feelings towards her… I just couldn’t take my eyes off of her. When she spoke, it was dizzying. When she walked in front of me, it was hypnotizing. I forget her name, but her birthday was the day before me. Perhaps her gentle demeanor reminded me of myself at such a foreign time in my life and college career. Or, perhaps I was Amanda and maybe-not straight.
It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I found another classmate crush, again. This time, I think she was white? Maybe from Spain? Same difference. She had the cutest lil’, chunky butt that I literally could not ignore whenever it entered the room. This was the first time I felt stimulated by a female body part, I just wanted to touch it!!! I think she might be the reason I became obsessed with lady butts to be honest. Ironically, both of my classmate crushes ended up being my project partner at some point along the way… You know, god working in mysterious ways, destiny, fate, the spirits — whatever. However, at the end of the day I never said or did anything because they seemed straight? If they did like girls how the hell was I supposed to know? So, I said nothing, did nothing. Because, I was Amanda and didn’t know who was straight or not, including myself.
I’ve now been single for almost 1.5 years and finally have a moment to sit with myself, get to know myself, enjoy myself and, most importantly, learn who this self is. If this journey has taught me one thing, it’s that I am an incredibly complex creature with so many different doors, locks and hidden keys — like many of us! It’s frustrating at times because I feel I’ll come across benchmarks in my life when I don’t even know what I want or who I want, and I don’t know who to talk to because I don’t know where to start.
Yes, I have my sister who has been with her fiancée for like…ever… but I don’t know. I just feel, alone? Yes, I have an uncle who has had his own trials with coming out, but it’s obviously different than my situation… right? SURE, I have plenty of friends in the LGBTQ community — but nobody ever hits me up to see what’s going on in my life outside of nightlife/events/etc., so why would I go out of my way to dive into this abyss of Amanda, the curious, with anyone? And, I’m not comparing my situation with anyone, my experience and struggles are not bigger or less than anyone else’s. They are just that, my struggles.
I honestly, still, cannot tell you where I’m at sexually. If you asked me, “do you get sexually stimulated when you see a girl you like,” the answer would be yes and no. Sure, women are amazingly pleasing to the eyes, I mean… look at us! We are such fascinating creatures with more appealing features than the males. But, do I think to myself, “wow can’t wait to get up in that,”? No. The same applies for men, though. I never see a guy and think to myself, “wow I want him now.” I’m just not that sexual? I have no idea what it is. I just don’t see people that way and it’s partially because I am an emotional creature; I need to get to “know” someone on a basic level before any sexual tension arises. Whether we talk back and forth for a while, sit down at dinner, get to know each other over time, I just need to explore the mind well before I explore the body. And, that has always been me, so to be really honest… I’m not sure if I like girls because I’m curious, or I like girls because I like girls. I mean, I know the kind of girls I’m not attracted to and the kind that I’m like “omg her, I want her,” so that probes the question, yet again. And, I’ve done a complete 360.
I’ve never been as honest about this post’s topic with anyone, really, and this might be a shock to many. This will be a shock to many. I might be throwing all of my friends and family members, if they’re reading, for a loop… But, this is me, even if I’m not quite sure who that is or what this means.
But, I do know I am Amanda, I’m straight, and there’s definitely some doubt about it.