My first real straight experience. lol I was around 6 or 7.
I didn’t understand why she turned me down. I had drafts of my love letter proofread repeatedly by my female elders who helped me choose the perfect perfume to give alongside it, and I was universally considered a pleasant-faced, bright, leaderly and talented student so I thought I had it in the bag.
I mean, sure, I thought she was among the prettiest in our class, but she was the prettiest of the girls who were not:
- In the honor roll
- And/or in the student government
- And/or in the roster of people with lauded talents
As for me, I thought that my looks stood rather well relative to the other guys who were in the previous categories. Given, there weren’t very many guys to contend with— there were only two whose brain, leadership potential and talents I took seriously— but still.
I thought Hazel and I were on pretty even grounds, and that I was a sound choice, especially given the crop of guys (seriously, I think my feminism is rooted in my early experience of seeing males as the inferior gender) she could choose from and/or who have expressed their interest in her.
This is not to say that I was ever under the impression that I was not gay or at least 100% straight.
Fast forward a couple years later, I and three of my friends— two girls, one boy— came out to our grade school friends during debut season. Nobody was surprised with any of our revelations. Some of the girls told me they always thought I was a waste because I wasn’t only gay— I was taken, too.
I didn’t understand what they meant. Apparently, the girls, including Hazel, thought that I was boyfriends with one of our friends whom I’ve always known to be straight, is straight, and was present during the entire conversation.
I then had to explain that we constantly held hands with no malice, and that the fact that he was cute— I say this objectively because he comes from a family known for their looks; when he brought his older brother over to my house unannounced, my eldest sister was at once elated and angered by what curse I had brought upon her, having a Big Deal Cutie in our house and letting him see her in house clothes — was just a coincidence.
I always thought that girls were never interested in him because he was a rambunctious troublemaker. I am very sorry, platonic friend, for cockblocking you for a full six years.
A bizarre love triangle was formed when, my explanation finished, Hazel incredulously rolled her eyes, huffed and taunted, “Ooooooh Raphaeeeelll.” I was very proud of my younger self for choosing to wish to love and be loved by a woman that would do such a thing.