16 girls get real about the moment they knew they weren’t straight

"Whenever I played with Barbies, I would always have same-sex Barbie couples.”

You might remember one specific moment where the truth about your sexuality suddenly hit you — or, as one girl below put it, her "Oh, shit, I'm gay" moment. Below, 16 people recall the moments they knew they were lesbian, bisexual, or queer.

  1. "When I was in primary school, I realised that the reason that I loved Taylor Swift wasn't that I wanted to be Taylor Swift, but because I had a crush on her. I also started having what I eventually realised was a crush on a girl at school. Being bisexual can be an odd experience, because it can be very easy to brush aside your own identity for a long time before realising that you're capable of being in love with more than one gender." —Mimi, 17

  1. "I had always felt a bit different, especially when I went out with guys. It just didn't feel right. I knew when I went to a party and saw a female friend of mine dancing. The feeling I felt in my gut ... well, I just knew. I identify as gay now." —Haley, 22

  1. "There were a lot of signs in my childhood that I ignored, but the first time I was self-aware of my sexual identity was when I watched a video from the musical Fun Home. It was a clip from the song 'Changing my Major' (a song about a girl who realises that she is a lesbian). Emily Skeggs (the girl) came out in undies and knee socks, and I thought, Wow, I'm definitely not straight, and it spiralled from there." —Kelli, 17

  1. "When I was in year 7, I had a crush on a girl. I was unable to talk to her normally and was so shy around her, and I didn't know why. It wasn't until years later that I realised I liked her romantically. I still wasn't sure about my sexuality, though, until my year 9 of high school when I met a girl at a concert and we immediately clicked. Hours into the festival, after spending all day together, we started holding hands, putting our arms around each other, leaning on each other's shoulders. I wanted to kiss her, and I had no doubt in my mind that I liked girls. I'm bisexual, but honestly, I lean more toward girls." —Meg, 16

  1. "I was 18 and at university. There was a girl in my class who I couldn't stop thinking about. I thought, Maybe I just really want to be her friend? But it was more than that. I knew that I was starting to get feelings for her. I was scared because I had never felt this way about another girl, and I didn't know if it was OK to feel that way. I cried my eyes out alone in my room, just worried what people would think of me if it had ever come out that I liked a girl." —Amber, 21

  1. "Even when I was little, I always found I had an attraction toward both males and females. I realised that I had a crush on one of my best girl friends when I was young, and whenever I played with Barbies, I would always have same-sex Barbie couples." —Hannah, 18

  1. "The moment I realised I was attracted to girls was back in eighth grade when I developed a crush on one of my best friends. It was the first 'real' crush I had ever really had. Since I knew that she liked girls, too, I think that helped me realise that it was a possibility for us to be together. We were pretty much attached at the hip already so that deepened my affection for her. I started thinking that maybe I was just attracted to her, not girls. But then I realised that there were other signs in my childhood that pointed toward the fact that I've probably always liked girls, such as a memory from primary school when I found this one particular friend very beautiful, and I remember always wanting to hug her or just be around her. That's the clearest earliest moment that I can think of, but falling for my friend in year 8 was what made me realise this whole other side to me." —Josefina, 18

  1. "My 'Oh, shit, I'm gay' moment happened when I was 16 and watching an Indiana Jones movie marathon. The third film had always been my favourite, and I never consciously understood why. Turns out I had a huge crush on the female lead, not Harrison Ford." —Katharine, 21

  1. "I'm bisexual. In primary school, I had a crush on a girl. I wrote her notes and my friends would help me plan out how to talk to her. I even wrote her a song in my music class. At the time, though, I didn't register that I had feelings for a girl. My friends and I all thought I just really wanted to befriend her. As I grew up, I found myself suppressing my attraction to girls more and more, but it wasn't until last year that I actually was able to admit that I wasn't heterosexual. I didn't want to label myself as anything but heterosexual. Then one day, one of my close friends said, 'I think your feelings are more than platonic. And that's OK.' It was with her support and the support of my other LGBTQA friends that I began to get more comfortable with my identity to the point that I could come out to more people and become open to the idea of being with a girl." —Zara, 17

  1. "One of the earliest things I remember is looking at my best girl friend in primary school and knowing that I felt very strongly for her, almost too strongly for just a friendship. I always wanted to be with her any chance I could get. After a few years of putting all of myself into a friendship, I realised that maybe I cared for her in a way she couldn't care for me back. I repressed it for so long and said to myself, 'I still like guys so I can't like girls,' so often that I would just try to keep every thought or feeling for another girl out of my head. The feelings started to get too much to control when I was around 18. That was when I finally started to try to accept it for myself. It took until I was a month shy of 20 to come out to my first friend." —Kate, 21

  1. "I always knew as children that I was queer, but lacked the understanding and vocabulary to properly categorise myself. I remember in kindergarten saying I wanted to marry a girl, which shocked my parents." —Livia, 20

  1. "I remember watching Daniela Bianchi in From Russia With Love (the James Bond movie) with my dad when I was no older than 6. She was curved like a Barbie doll. That was probably one of the first times I really thought about the female body and that I was any bit attracted to the ladies as well as the men. I think I sort of confused attraction with body envy. It was not until I was around 11 or 12 when I sat downstairs watching, rewinding, and re-watching the scene in Titanic where you got to see Kate Winslet's boob that I realised it was more than just a little girl wanting to have a womanly figure. I was bisexual." —Gigi, 22

  1. "I'm bisexual and gender fluid. I had my first crush on a girl at in primary school, but I didn't realise I was gender fluid until I was much older. I spent several years at a time in periods of hyper-femininity and hyper-masculinity. It was constant confusion over whether I was a cisgender girl or a transgender guy. About halfway through high school, I got involved in the LGBT+ community when I became open about my sexuality, and I learned about non-binary genders and gender-fluidity through my school's gay-straight alliance. It was exciting to suddenly have an explanation for all the ambiguity surrounding my own identity." —Arin, 17

  1. "During year 9, my best friend in the world slowly turned into my crush. She was gay, and she would talk about one person or another that had feelings for her and at one point, I realised that I was one of those people." —Julia, 17

  1. "I don't really have a memory of not being attracted to just boys, but the first time I acted on that, I was 9 and I made out with my female friend. I didn't realise what that meant really until I was 12ish and connected the dots, like, 'Oh, wait, that's not normal. That means I'm queer.' I've never thought of it as a bad thing, but I've always been very aware of my parent's negative views on that. (They're very, very religious) As far as my gender goes, when I was 8 or 9, I really, really wanted to be a boy, but since then, I've decided I feel more fluid or gender-neutral." —Makayla, 17

  1. "My whole life, I always knew something was different about me. I always wanted to be super close with some of my friends that were girls and got along better with most of the guys. In year 8, one of my friends came out to me as bisexual, and when I asked her what that was, her description explained the feelings I had been having my whole life. I never had crushes on male celebrities or wondered who my Prince Charming would be. I dated men when I was younger, but it never worked out. My relationships mostly ended because I just became uninterested or too uncomfortable. I realised after a while I was dating these guys to have a companion, not because I was attracted to them. I've accepted that as awesome as guys can be, they just aren't for me. I'm a lesbian." —Jen, 21

Source: Cosmo US