Youth Story: Alannah
I had my first crush on a girl in elementary school. I would do everything she would do. When she joined the basketball team, I joined. When she was in a play, I was also. At a young age, I didn't understand the feelings I had for her, but I knew that they were strong.
When I was twelve, I realized that I was attracted to other girls. I look back on my friendship with this girl in elementary school, and I thought that this is something that has always been a part of me. I didn’t know what to do at the time, but I knew that I had to be myself, no matter what.
A year later, I finally came out to my mother. I was terrified, but I had finally worked up the courage and did not want to hide my feelings any longer. She told me that she thought it was “just a phase”. This made me feel like I could not accept myself and my feelings. It was difficult to be who I really was when everyone thought that my identity was temporary. There were a number of years where I just felt scared and insecure.
Then, I started coming to The Attic and met a lot of people who accept me and value me as a person. I realized that there was a whole community that would support me for who I am, and I finally began to fully accept myself. Now, I come out to anyone who listens to me!
At The Attic, I have taken acting classes, gone on field trips,participated in groups, and met many great people. Now, I feel safe and confident in my own skin, and The Attic has played a major part in helping me to feel this way. I have gotten really involved in The Attic’s women’s programming and spoken word groups, and I have been writing and performing poetry to share my experience with others.
Also, with the support of my friends and the staff at The Attic, I have begun to have some meaningful conversations with my mom. She is coming around, and now realizes that my sexual orientation is not a passing phase —it is part of who I am.