When I was in high school, I thought of girls as extremely gorgeous. I thought that was all. I just thought my female friends, classmates, and acquaintances were beautiful. I didn’t think it was anything romantic. I was adamant that I was a straight woman.
As time went on, I felt things change. At first, I thought I was a biromantic asexual. Then, I began thinking otherwise. When I was a junior in college, I began thinking, am I bisexual? Then, I began denying it. I kept telling myself I was heterosexual. When I was a senior in college, I finally decided to accept myself for who I was. I had finally realized I was pansexual.
I started coming out to my friends and family. Initially, I began coming out as bisexual, but then I realized I was indeed pansexual. I realized I loved anyone, regardless of their pronouns. Accepting myself for who I was, who I had become, what my identity was, and who I loved was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
To me, pride month means being accepting and loving of myself and my sexual orientation. It means I don’t have to suppress my pansexuality and force myself to be something I’m not. It means I can feel open about who I am and be free to express my love for who I loved.
Coming out of the closet was a freeing experience. I fondly remember a time during my sports studies class when I was going around seeing my classmates’ final poster projects. I remember describing my thoughts on Colorado Rockies fans donating money to LGBTQ organizations whenever Daniel Murphy made a good play. When discussing the moment, I mentioned that I did not appreciate the comments he made about members of that community since I was an LGBTQ woman. It was more of an indirect way of coming out, but it felt wonderful.
Another moment I remember was asking a friend if his significant other was a classmate of mine. I asked the friend about it, mentioning there was a cute girl in my journalism ethics class and I wanted to know if it was his significant other or someone who looked like her. I felt absolutely zero shame in saying the words “cute girl.” It was so amazing being able to express who I was and who I loved.
Back when I first thought I was straight; I would sing along different lyrics to songs to make it feel less weird. I was singing 867-5309 and when I sang the lyrics “Jenny, Jenny, you’re the girl for me,” my brother said it probably wasn’t the best idea for me to sing those lyrics since it made me sound like a lesbian. It gave me a negative connotation with singing lyrics with the girl as the love interest. Whenever I sang the song “See You Tonight” by Scotty McCreery, I would sing, “Kid I got to see you tonight’ instead of, “Girl I got to see you tonight.”
Coming out as pansexual changed all that. I can now sing along to songs where any person regardless of pronouns is the love interest. It doesn’t feel strange at all, it feels natural and wonderful. The negative connotation I got stemming from the comment from my brother has all gone out the window.
Something else that pride month means to me is that I can be open about all my celebrity crushes, not just on male celebrities. I have been open about my major crush on Nolan Arenado and am slowly but surely opening up about my female celebrity crushes. I mentioned in my review of the Colorado Rockies Stay-At-Home Opener that I thought of Jenny Cavnar as a beautiful and iconic broadcasting queen. I have somewhat of a crush on Jenny as she is a bubbly, kind, lovely person. I have huge crushes on Zendaya and Nastia Liukin, too! Both women are absolutely gorgeous and have fantastic personalities.
I feel absolutely no shame in swooning over both country singer Luke Bryan and alternative rock musician Hayley Williams. Luke Bryan could serenade me with his beard and handsome Georgia accent. All Hayley Williams needs is her hair, smile, and amazing singing voice to win me over. It feels so amazing knowing that I’m no longer in denial and can let myself have a crush on whichever celebrity I want to have a crush on.
There are so many reasons why Pride Month is important to me. I love knowing I can be in love with whoever I want to love without feeling guilty. I love being able to finally be honest with myself, who I have become, and what my identity is. I feel amazing knowing I can have a huge crush on a famous female while also crushing on male celebrities, too. I love getting to sing along to whatever love song I want to, and letting myself feel connections with any person of any pronoun.
Coming out of the closet and embracing myself has made me much happier than I could ever imagine. I am pansexual, and I am proud!