Outspoken: Nicole Higginbotham

BY

November 07 2005 1:00 AM ET

I never fit in as
a kid. When I was younger I mostly hung out with boys,
catching frogs, snails, and snakes. But as I grew up, what
once seemed OK suddenly made me different. Little by
little my guy friends and I grew apart. I was a girl,
so I was supposed to hang out with the girls. But they
were into cheerleading and flirting with the guys. I was
not.

Then I realized
that I loved hanging out with the girls. Sometimes I
would sit in the car with my friends, and I would think
about how great it felt with just us girls.

But my junior
year of high school changed everything. I fell for one of
my best friends. Her name was Trisha. Eventually I decided
to tell her how I felt. First, I told her that I was
gay. She was a little nervous, but she took it OK.
Then I decided to tell her that I had feelings for
her. I wrote her a three-page note. The next day two of my
friends came up to me and said that Trisha had freaked
out and called both of them late at night. They said
that she was thoroughly upset. Trisha stopped speaking
to me.

That summer
Trisha was all that I could think about. I was wondering how
I could lose a friend whom I had known so long over the way
that I felt. I expected her to understand. I started
drinking. First, I drank beer, then tequila, and then
vodka. I would drink alone to drown out all of the
misery that I felt. When my senior year started I was going
to school drunk. Friends whom I considered to be
drunks were now calling me one.

But that ended in
the middle of the school year when my family moved and
I entered a new high school. I met another lesbian and we
started a gay-straight alliance together. I started to
feel a little better that there were other people like
me out there.

I am still
looking for a way to be comfortable and feel accepted. Right
now I am currently attempting to graduate from college with
an associate’s degree, and I am in the
delayed-entry program for the United States Air Force.
I want to get stationed somewhere more open than the
Midwest.

Tags: Commentary

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