Writing by Luna Montford-Jones // Photograph by Chantal van den Broek
When I was fourteen, I began to have fantasies about other girls and women. I had always liked boys; in fact, I had been extremely “boy crazy” up until then, so this development was a little strange to my young mind.
I knew about different sexualities and was brought up in a family where I would be accepted no matter what my sexual preference was, but this didn’t take away from the feeling I had that I was an extreme weirdo. I grew up in a small town where no teenagers I knew were gay. I kept my secret thoughts and feelings to myself, not daring to even tell my family or best friends.
Because I obviously couldn’t act out these fantasies and because there was no way to find information on this without being extremely embarrassed (this was just before the internet), I began to use art as an outlet.
I began to draw the women I dreamed of; soft skin, long hair, and curvy breasts and hips. I drew myself interacting with these women; cuddling, kissing, and later on, having sex. I had no idea how sex worked between two women, but I used my imagination.
This outlet was enough for the few years of early high school that I was in my small town, but when I was about to enter year 10, my family decided to move to Sydney. I was terrified. I knew I couldn’t keep my sexuality hidden for much longer as it had become stronger and stronger over the years, despite my early “boy crazy” phase. I knew for sure, I was a lesbian.
I decided over the summer holidays to tell my family just before we moved. I wanted to start fresh in Sydney and I thought if I arrived there already “out” this would be so much easier. My parents were amazing, they had already had an inkling… they had found my art (ugh, so embarrassing), but they had let me wait until I was ready to tell them.
My younger sisters were just in early primary school so they had no problem understanding when we told them. To them, this wasn’t anything unusual (they were still in the “ew boy germs” phase).
We arrived in Sydney on an extremely hot, humid day and slowly unpacked our new home. The summer lazily stretched before me and I hadn’t thought much about starting my new school until the day arrived like an unexpected slap in the face.
The first few weeks were a blur of classrooms, corridors, lessons, and lockers. I briefly met my fellow students, knowing some names but mostly just trying my best not to get lost.
The day Violet introduced herself to me, I had managed to miss half a class already as I ran dripping in sweat up five flights of stairs. She was at the top, dark brown hair, soft pale skin, and the calmest expression I had ever seen.
“We were wondering if you’d gotten lost, I’m Violet, the teacher sent me to find you.”
I can tell you I flushed a very dark shade of beetroot.
In the weeks following my first encounter with Violet, we became fast friends. The initial embarrassment was over and I realised, as beautiful as she was, she was just like anybody else. Except, I knew I had feelings for her.
We began to not only hang out every day at school, but also after school and on the weekends. We went swimming in the beach baths, we explored the many rock pools our local beaches had to offer, and we ate ice-cream on the sand. I was falling for her hard and I had no idea what to do.
After chatting to my mum and reaching out to some of our family friends who were in same sex relationships, I had come to the conclusion I should ask Violet out. Why shouldn’t I just give it a shot? I was terrified of course, but brave enough and maybe stupidly in love enough to give it a go.
I had decided to wait till Friday so if I was rejected, I could have the weekend to mourn. Violet and I had decided to go to a new beach Friday after school and I was so nervous I was barely talking. I think Violet knew something was up but she didn’t say anything.
We sat down on the sand (I clumsily fell down and had to pick myself up into a more graceful position.) I decided it was now or never. Firstly I looked for an escape route, if an immediate exit was required. Then, I looked into her eyes, her dark green and brown eyes. I noticed she looked really nervous, her cheeks were pink and she kept fiddling with her hair.
“I have to say something.” We said in unison.
I was so shocked I gaped at her. Did she know my secret? Was she going to tell me to leave her alone?
“I’ve been wanting to say this for ages” Violet began. “But I just don’t know where to begin, or if this is even what I think it is.”
“I love you.” I blurted out.
The stunned look in Violet’s face seemed to stretch on for hours. I had no idea how long we sat there staring into each other’s faces. But suddenly as if no time had passed, I felt her soft pink lips on mine.
That summer turned into autumn, then winter, and our love grew and grew. The cold wind that whipped up the sand was all the more excuse to huddle together in our large “two person” sized coats.
Violet’s hand fit so perfectly into mine; her beautiful hair always tickled my nose as she was just short enough for me to kiss her forehead. I had never felt more at home, more real, or more loved.
I knew I was lucky–lucky to be accepted, lucky to have found love, lucky to be allowed to be myself. And this is what I wish for everyone, every LGBTQIA kid out there who feels like the world just isn’t for them. I promise you, the world is your oyster; we are all here waiting for you to arrive, waiting with open arms to welcome you into this beautiful rainbow world.[share]