My name is Shea Norris, I’m 23 years old and I come from the Oglala and Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux Tribes.
My story begins in the 8th grade. I was experiencing these feelings for certain people, certain girls and I wasn’t sure at the time what they were. I regained an old friendship with a friend I grew up with and at this time, she was out to everyone and knew who she was. When I seen how comfortable she was and how confident she was, I asked her how did she know and what were the signs she experienced that helped her know who she was. She described to me everything I was feeling.
Over a period of time, from my teenage years to my adult years, it was a puzzle for me to figure out who I was and who I was attracted to. I claimed bisexual because to me, it was a “safety” net. The realization of me being lesbian scared me because I grew up with a religious father who always preached that same sex couples were a sin.
My mom was more supportive of my choices than my dad. When I came out, she told me she loves me no matter who I love and kissed me on my forehead. Never judged me over anything, she is very open to who I am and makes me feel like everything is ok. My dad on the other hand, wasn’t so supportive of it. It was a fight with him at first. He is still not supportive of it, but accepts the fact that I am his gay daughter. I don’t resent him for not being supportive because it goes against what he believes in.
Even into my young adulthood, admitting to everyone that I was a lesbian was still scary for me. I knew people wouldn’t judge me for it or if they did, I still wasn’t sure on how to take the negative things people would say. Thanks to the friends I have encountered over the years, they helped me become more comfortable with myself and not care what others might say. I am 23 now and when I was 21, that is when I finally let myself be me.
It took a long time for me to get to this point and now that I am, I have never felt so free to express my feelings. Sometimes it still hard because of my dad, but I know how to talk with him about this subject and how to not make it into a fight. It has been one crazy journey and it has taught me a lot on how to identify myself and be fine with it, even with the negative things to be said, I am not afraid to let anyone know. It seemed like it took forever to come out of that shell but there is a time and place for everyone to finally “come out the closet” and when that happens, it’s a feeling that can’t be explained.
It is a scary thing to be a lesbian in the twenty first century, but it is also a great time to be a lesbian in the twenty first century.