The Way I Am
Frontwoman of Roan Yellowthorn opens up about sexuality in moving essay.
The first time I fell in love with a girl I was eight years old. I was auditioning for a community theater production of the Wizard of Oz in the summertime. The theater smelled like dust and paint and adrenaline. She was sitting there in the middle of the group of older kids across the aisle. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I stared. I couldn’t look away. She was laughing and lively. I
had never seen someone who looked like her before. I had never seen anyone so striking. Her hair was blonde, spiky, short. She had a checked collared shirt on. She wore black glasses and a choker. I kept staring, hoping she’d look back at me. Terrified that she would. I wanted to be next to her. I wanted to smell her.
I didn’t understand that feeling. It was too strong to ignore, but it was too unusual to explain. I thought about her for weeks afterward, but I never talked about it to anyone. What was there to say? I didn’t know crushes could exist between girls. I’d only heard of it happening between girls and boys. I didn’t have words for what I’d felt, so I put it away.