First off, being a fan of the original L Word, I was skeptical of the Real L Word. I thought that making a reality show inspired by such a great show like the L Word would somehow cheapen the original series. However, I think that after watching the Real L Word, I have changed my mind. Watching the Real L Word changed me and the way I see myself. It gave me tangible and real examples of lesbians and women living their truth. It showed me real gay women who are thriving and living happily because they are themselves.
I never knew I was gay until I was in college. I dated a boy that I truly cared about throughout high school. Although, I have many gay friends, I never thought I was gay until much later. I started questioning my sexuality when I started having feelings for a college friend. And now a few years later, I definitely know that I am gay.
However, it was not until recently that I could even say that I am gay to myself. I grew up in a traditional Catholic Asian family and I come from a small town. All my life, all I wanted to do was fit in. So, accepting that I am different is difficult.
Accepting myself was so difficult that I hid instead. I was so ashamed and scared that I hid, from everything and everyone. The only way to hide is to push people away and to stay silent and so I pushed people away and I was silent. I felt very isolated and alone. I was in a dark place, to say the least.
So, I started watching the Real L word to pass the time and to escape, even for just a little bit every week. I remember watching the first episode, thinking, “Wow! If only I was that confident and that strong to live my life that openly and proudly.” As I watched each episode, my thinking started to change. I went from thinking, if only I can, to thinking maybe I should, and to now being able to say, Okay, here I am.
I’m not saying it’s easy, being myself and accepting myself, because it is not. I feel like, I am on a perpetual roller coaster. And I am not saying that I have actually come out to a lot of people, because I have yet to come out to most of my family and friends. But I have come out to the most important person, myself. And I have learned that gay me is still the same me. I have learned that, I loved myself then. I love myself now. I will love myself always.
I never valued visibility before, but I get it now. As difficult as coming out can be, it is important, not because you need to announce that you are gay or that your sexuality is your identity, but because the alternative is worst. Coming out is important because hiding and being less than yourself kills your spirit.
So, thank you to the Real L World for being visible. Thank you for sharing your stories and for helping me realize that loving myself is all that matters.