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Estelle Hafen's Story

When I was in 8th grade I knew I was going to kill myself.

It felt inevitable really. I was miserable. My heart hurt so much. I felt like I had lived through thousands of years of torture, even though I was only 14.

And, I was carrying around this secret that made the torture so much more intense.

***

I wrote it out in text to my adopted mama. “I have something to tell you. I’m gay.”

But I couldn’t be gay, could I? What about that boy I cried about every night for a month when he broke up with me?

The only two options were gay or straight. I didn’t know where I fit.

***

At age 15 I went to my first quinceanera. My parents worried about me drinking. Instead, I met someone who would become my first conscious girl crush.

I decided to tell my best friends about this crush on school on Monday. I lost my resolve.

This girl and I never hungout again.

***

My first kiss was on my way to seminary. I hated seminary, but I really liked this boy.

I kissed him many more times after that.

Being around him made me feel less depressed, but not being 16 made me feel really guilty.

I told all my best friends about him.

***

There was a friend I had who I spent more time with than anything else.

She was almost as broken as I was.

After playing a role in setting her up with one of my male friends, our whole dynamic changed.

Nobody had any clue why I started treating the couple so differently.

***

I fell in love for the first time when I was a Junior.

One night on an overnight debate trip, I remember staring at her with no makeup on and I was overwhelmed at how beautiful she was, and realized I wanted to kiss her.

“This must be what best friendship feels like,” I told myself.

***

“Sometimes I think about being bi,” I told my best friend between sobs.

“So do I,” she replied. “No, this is me coming out to you…”

“What’s going on?” Her mom asked, walking outside moments later. “I just came out.”

“Cool. Do you bitches want ice cream?”

***

One night, I stayed up until 2 a.m. watching coming out videos. Mostly women.

The guilt I had was insurmountable.

I had never wanted to die more.

“It’s because who you are is wrong,” a voice told me.

***

I told my mom two weeks after I told my best friend.

I was so lonely she asked my brother if I could hang out with him and his friends.

After a painful hour, I went outside and bawled.

“Mom, I like girls.”

“Well duh. Why are you crying?”

***

College was very exciting. I was going to go to a very gay-friendly school.

“Leave your religion behind, date girls, have fun, and then later you can get married in the temple,” I was told.

That scared me. I went to BYU-I instead.

***

Before college, I had exclusively fallen for Latinas.

This time, I unexpectedly fell for the complete opposite.

One night we were babysitting and I thought, “I could spend the rest of my life doing this.

I wanted a wife.

***

When my first boyfriend went on his mission, I was sad and excited.

Sad because he left. I really did like him.

But, I was happy because now I had a two-year chance to fall in love with a woman before spending eternity with a man.

***

“Gay people are in a bind. They either leave the church they love, or lose their chance to be with someone they love.”

Either way I would lose.

I decided it was time to end it--then I would not have to make a losing choice.

***

After a friend told me we couldn’t be friends because of my feelings for her.

My roommate took me to the ER later that night.

Some people at the hospital gave me a blessing. I don’t remember what they said.

All I know is that I made it out alive.

***

When I found out an ex had assaulted people, my heart broke.

It was already hard to be with men, and now I felt like I could never trust them again.

But if I couldn’t marry a man, then I couldn’t marry anybody.

That day, I gave up having a family.

***

A year ago, I released a coming-out blog.

Many friends were supportive and loving.

Some unfriended me.

It didn’t matter. I was finally free.

***

Months after releasing this blog, there was a man I dated.

The first time we kissed I cried.

There wasn’t emotion there other than lust.

I knew my relationship with men would always be different than my relationship with women.

I dumped him 3 weeks later.

***

Since graduating BYU-I my life is significantly different.

Church is different too.

When I go, I only attend nursery.

I think that God would be okay with that.

***

Now I am comfortable with using the terms bisexual, lesbian and gay for myself.

I still kiss men, but with different expectations now.

Someday I will be a wife. Someday I will be a mom.

Right now, I am content preparing for my future wife.