When I was in high school, I resented gay pride and queer activism. To the younger version of myself, pride felt overbearing. I remember sitting in my counselor’s office and telling her I didn’t need to go to the Gay-Straight Alliance meeting. I imagined that going might mean I was defining my identity wholly by my sexuality. Apart from worrying about how I would be perceived by others, I was even more worried about what attending those meetings would mean for my own sense of self.
I left my first year expecting that the time of uncertainty would be pretty much over. Of course things would change, but I don’t think I fully realized what this change would look like. Or at least, I expected things to grow linearly — I knew that I wouldn’t hold on to every single relationship from my first year, but I thought that I would have felt like I was growing, not regressing. On the other side of sophomore year, I do feel like I’ve developed. But there were parts of this semester that were hard in ways I didn’t expect them to be.