Written by Canmore Museum

When I was around 13 years old, I first kissed a girl. Well, actually, it was more like a girl kissed me. We were at a party and she pushed me up against a fence and kissed me – with tongue. I
was shocked, but not upset. Honestly, I didn’t think twice about it. And I went straight (no pun intended) back to crushing on boys.

In my teens, I struggled a lot with self image. I always felt like an outsider – like the black sheep. It was only when I got to university that I started to explore who I actually was and to learn to build my confidence. I also started thinking about my sexuality. When I sat down and thought about it, I didn’t think I was 100% straight, but I also knew I wasn’t gay. So, does that make me
bi? Pan? I have no idea. And I never really felt the need to figure it out. I just kept on dating boys and trying to figure out life.

I did, however, have one female friend that had peaked my interest. I constantly hit on her. People always just assumed it was a joke and kind of brushed it off. I even had a gay friend tell me that I was as straight as an arrow. But as much as my hitting on her was considered a joke, there was still a small part of me that wanted her to be into it. Even through all of that, I never felt confused about my sexuality. I was just frustrated that I couldn’t find someone I felt comfortable with. In all of my relationships with men, I always felt like I had to make sure I was doing things properly. I didn’t want to be the “crazy” girlfriend, so I never let myself rock the boat. I was so worried that I would end up alone again. And eventually I decided I needed a change of scenery. So, when I got the opportunity to come to the valley, I jumped on it. I chopped off my hair and drove to Canmore with the intention of staying a few weeks…and here I am 6 years later.

Canmore was the first place I felt like I could really be myself. I didn’t have to pretend to be a proper “girl”. I could go out to the bar in jeans and a t-shirt without any makeup and not feel self
conscious. I started to really feel comfortable with myself. The true me. I had found my niche. All that was left was to find my person.

It took 6 years of dating men, adventures around Canada and the world, and a tad bit of hanger, but I finally found my person. And she is not at all what I expected. This woman flipped my whole world upside down. Even though I knew I wasn’t straight, I always just assumed that I would end up with a man. Turns out I was wrong. Ha! She is everything I had ever dreamed of, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard in the beginning. I had never questioned my sexuality before, but now so many things were flying around in my head. Does this mean I’m gay? Was everything I had ever felt before a lie? What would my life look like now? Is this going to be hard? Will people treat me differently? It was a lot to handle. And it wasn’t anything I could handle on my own. So we got help. And although couple’s therapy isn’t what you think about in the first few months of a relationship, it was a game changer for us.

I wouldn’t be where I am today and my relationship wouldn’t be as strong as it is if we hadn’t gotten professional help. After all of this, and as hard as it has been, I’ve realized that I’m one of the lucky ones. I found myself, my home and my person. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By choice, this submission remains anonymous.  We acknowledge the bravery in sharing this story and support the individual in their choice.  

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Canmore Museum

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