First Inklings I Was A Lesbian…

Despite knowing—on some level at a very young age that I was a lesbian, it took a silly amount of time for the pink penny to finally, consciously drop.

Into my university years I was writing entry after entry in my diary about how beautiful my latest girl-crush’s eyes were … yet expressing in the very next paragraphs my bewilderment as to why I never felt excited when a boy touched me.

My diary makes for a forehead-slapping read.

So, how could I know I was gay when I didn’t know?

What were the light prods at my conscious mind?
What were those early signs?


If I found another girl attractive, I somehow knew, from the earliest age, to keep this to myself.

We are so subtly trained all day every day to be gender-conforming and heterosexual, that the youngest child knows when she has stepped outside these social expectations. I knew I had to keep certain feelings secret that other children could share freely.


When the five-year-old kids in the playground did an impression of a teapot (which I now know to be a supposedly gay man with one hand on his hip, the other hand dangling from a limp wrist), I had no idea what they meant (and I’m fairly certain that they didn’t either).

But I did know that:
a) I mustn’t be a teapot
b) I was probably a teapot


In every infant school assembly, where I would sit cross-legged in the rows of five and six year olds, I would stare in the direction of the piano.

I would wait for the hymns to start, when the teacher would raise her hands, in preparation, way above the keys. From that moment I was transfixed by the agility and motion of her fingers.

There was something about those hands. And whatever it was, I wanted it.


While my sister was converting our shared playroom into her personal ‘dollies’ hospital,’ I put on my big boots, climbed trees, played football, and practised cycling round the sharpest corners with no hands.

I was aware that all the other girls seemed to be conforming to a role that held no interest for me.


As I was growing up, I was aware that I felt excessively fond of certain friends.
And I was aware that I seemed to have more of a need than other children to cultivate special friendships, in which exclusivity would play a part, in my favour…

It wasn’t until I was fourteen that this tendency reached a peak.
When my best friend of two years dumped me for being overbearingly possessive, I cried myself to sleep for two years.

What were your first inklings?

How did you know you were gay … before you knew you were gay?

Natasha Holme is author of Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on How I Acquired my Eating Disorder.



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  1. jane

    Thoughtful article.

  2. Shane

    The hands part and cycling tricks made me laugh, so me! Snap!

    I remember being awestruck by how tall and strong and boyish my primary school teacher was. Ohhh how I adored her more than anything, she must have noticed because she was super kind to me and even gave me a hug when she returned for a visit after she left.

    Suffice to say my taste in women hasn’t changed much since. I get warm fuzzies just remembering her… sigh.

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