I had the experience of being a tomboy growing up and was comfortable in how I existed in the world (as far as I remember), but everything changed with puberty.

I didn't fit into people's expectations of me, and my body didn't fit into what I felt a woman should look like. I tried really hard to be a "good woman" because I was attracted to men and I thought that's what was expected of me. I'm fairly confident I was experiencing gender dysphoria, but I didn't have the language then to describe or understand the feeling. While gender and sexuality are independent of each other, my sexuality impacted my ability to explore and uncover my gender.

In my early 20s, I began learning more about queer identities and met people in the LGBTQIA+ community. I quickly came to the realization I'm not straight. But what does it mean to not be straight if I am attracted to men?

This question is something I wrestled with for a long time, though not in those exact terms. Internally, I had determined I felt queer or gay but didn't understand what that meant.

The first time I came out was as bisexual, and I started exploring my sexuality before unpacking my gender identity.