Born this Gay

Jul 9, 2021 | 2013 Spring - What Happens Next? Part 1

By Kristine Meshak

I was straight for 18 and a half years of my life. At least, I thought I was straight.

I was raised in a conservative, Catholic family. Al-though there were strict definitions of right and wrong, it was a loving household. However, my family’s love didn’t change the fact that I had always felt different. I had always been mature for my age and people seemed to think I had it all together. I, too, thought I had it all together.

I had my fairy tale life all planned out. I wanted to meet a man who would dazzle me and sweep me off my feet. We would have an unforgettable and romantic wedding. Finally, we would settle down and have four children: two boys and two girls – all while I gracefully managed a successful career. I thought this alone would make me happy and complete. I thought it would also appease my grandchildren-seeking parents. Now, I only had to find the perfect man.

Having found no keepers in high school, I went away to college in hopes of meeting new friends and the man of my dreams. Through trial and error, I found two wonderful friends who carried me through to my sophomore year. I decided to put the manhunt on the back burner in hopes that he would turn up when I least expected him. Instead, I wanted to focus on adding more friends to my friend group.

Shortly after the year began, my two friends and I met a transfer student named Laura who was living in our dorm. The three of us got to know her, slowly, and welcomed her into our group. I was happy to welcome her, and couldn’t help feeling a special force between us. I felt that she completed our friend group. Only later that spring would I realize that she completed more than our friend group. She completed me.

Laura and I began spending more and more time together. We’d stay up late and make up excuses to do things alone so we could flirt with one another. I knew subconsciously that I was falling in love with her, but coming from a conservative household as I did, this scared me. After all, I was supposed to be waiting for the perfect man, not the perfect woman. Although I was petrified about what being in love with a woman would do to my and my Catholic family’s understanding of the world, I knew that if I walked away from this new person, I would forever regret my actions.

Summer came all too soon and Laura and I were forced to part ways until fall. I had to return to my summer job in my hometown and she had to travel cross-country to hers. Laura’s summer job involved working outdoors and she had limited access to technology. Therefore, we swapped addresses and spent the next three and a half months of our relationship communicating primarily by letter. The rest, as they say, is history. We are nearing our two-year anniversary and planning our future together. We’ve never been happier.

Kristine is currently completing her undergraduate work and living with her partner in western Wisconsin.

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