Gender + Sexuality

February 7, 2012

Guelph Is So Gay! A Lesbian Coming-of-Age Story

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Written by: Nikki
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Screen shot 2012-02-07 at 11.02.32 AM

Every morning when I wake up… okay I go back to sleep. But when I do wake up (for the 6th time) I thank god I am gay. I never thought this day would come because for as long as I can remember, my sexuality was always something that bothered me. I wished I were straight.

Not anymore. It gets better! No okay for real though, I’m still not sure how much better things will get but I can tell you one thing and that is that it gets a lot less shitty.

The last few months have been a crazy switch-up of school, programs, friends, and just life in its totality. Last September, I became a full grown-up lesbian; I moved out…ish. I picked everything up and relocated myself eight hours away, to a little town that people love to refer to as ‘Cow Town’. Sure, it’s small and there are cows on campus but I do love it. Also, Guelph is so gay. That’s where this whole, homosexuality-as-blessing thought comes in. (Before I begin I must say that if I weren’t the little dyke that I am, I would have never met Erika and never have made my appearance on The Gaily.)

Going back to my gaily appreciation of loving the female persuasion. If my desire was heterosexually inclined, my life would not be my life and maybe I would have never moved out here in the first place. Being away and gay at school, away from home can both have its ups and downs. For one, I came to learn that I can not cook. A week or two of living off cereal and rice landed me in the health clinic not even a month after I had moved away. To be honest I didn’t think I would have much of a problem but I came to realize that I’m a lot more brown than I thought I was. But there’s only so many days you can eat lentil curry before swearing off Pakistani food forever. By forever I mean a few days.

Being in Guelph doesn’t only mean eating surprise hybrid meals, it also means being really out. For the first time I don’t have to worry about a relative catching me make out with my girlfriend in the metro. I also don’t have to wear a hoodie over my fckh8 shirt in 30 degree weather just in case I might run into someone. Y’know the someone being my neighbour’s sister’s son’s girlfriend’s sister’s best friend’s mother who might see me and before you know it, there’s a straight-camp brochure on my front porch cause the news got back to my neighbour. It’s possible! Just sayin’.

The best thing about being gay in Guelph is that it prevented me from becoming a wilting lonely wallflower for the entire semester. Frosh week at every university is intended to get the new comers to mingle and make friends and it was no different in Guelph. I didn’t quite get with the program because my shyness stopped me from exiting my room. Me: Shy? I know right! Two days later, my house was still void of its new inhabitants and I decided to get my shit together. There were tons of events but I didn’t quite fit into any of them, except one.

One afternoon, the Guelph queer equality club was getting together to paint pots on the campus lawn and I told myself, f*ck that even if I don’t own a plant, I will buy one just for this. To this date, five months later, I still haven’t bought one. I learnt my lesson when I killed my bamboo plant – who knew that was even possible; I mean it’s a Bamboo!

I got to the gay event, looking especially queer with my leather jacket and longboard, and before I knew it I was talking to real live (gay) people. That’s where I met Mia. From then on, the queer events continued and I kept meeting a bunch of different people. Teeny and I got acquainted at a ‘picnic’ type affair called Gay on the Green. For real, I’m not even making that up. I made her listen to Andrea Gibson; we bonded. Somehow we ventured to Wal-Mart during that week, and would you know it, the Wal-Mart was green. You know it’s Guelph when…

At the end of the week was my 21st birthday. A bunch of us explored “downtown” that night, accompanied by some Gin & tonic and multiple tequila shots. I say downtown the way I do because it consists of a total of…wait for it… ONE street.

All in all, the week was an interesting one – discovering awful cooking skills, meeting a bunch of arm-pit haired gals, getting to know my two lesbi-pals, distancing myself from the bunch of arm-pit haired gals, and just basically absorbing the fact that I was in a completely new place with absolutely nothing to stop me. I wanted all this freedom and now that I had it, I didn’t quite know what to do with it.

My parents were afraid that once I would leave, I would socialize incessantly and turn my education into a shit pit. To be honest, I was scared of that too but I was determined not to let it happen… and it didn’t. Instead, I spent most of the semester lying in my bed.

Moving is hard, a long distance relationship is hard, school is hard, living alone is hard, life can be a bitch y’know. But at the end of the day I’m so glad that I am who I am because had I not been gay, I would never have met Mia & Teeny.

We procrastinate together, watch movies together and we Facebook stalk their girl crushes. We make dinner together, we get drunk together, and sometimes we even sleep in the same bed. We have lesbian knitting popsicle parties and go dancing on Queer night. This week we even signed our very first apartment lease for the upcoming year. The three of us, we’re family.

Being a lesbian here is a blessing. I didn’t intend on making my closest friends queer-only, but maybe it’s just the lesbian urge to merge. Whatever it is, I’m glad for it, my gayness gave me friends… oh and a girlfriend!*

*who I miss incredibly but when someone tells you that long distance doesn’t work out, tell them to suck it because I know otherwise.

About the Author

|Montreal/Guelph Contributor| You'll find me rambling, ranting and raving about everything; from feminism and religion to relationships and fashion. I'm an avid procrastinator and full-time perfectionist. I have an obsession with semi-colons and use them irrationally. I love books, reading stuff on the internet, and writing everything down. Winter makes me cry and I always crave chocolate and the sun.



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  1. Loved this story Nikki. As I said to you, my move away from home when I was coming out was the best thing ever. I felt like I could safely experiment with my identity, language, self-expression, etc with people who didn’t know me in any other way. Also, according to theories on coming out (phht?), we test our stories and our identities on people in whom we have a lot less invested, because their reactions or opinions are less important. I know that was the case for me anyways.

    That is all to say, this is adorable, and Thank you!

    • Nikki

      You are totally right about experimenting with less invested people! It’s because you haven’t built that connection yet, and so there’s not that big scary thought of losing it!

  2. Ty

    lol.. I love all the humor here.

    You really are a full grown-up lesbian Nikki! Awesome story. A mentor of mine once told me that you can never re-invent yourself in the same place so moving sometimes can change a person for the better. Happy to hear that you are doing so well.

    Oh! Visit soon.. Perhaps we can get dinner-drunk together and even sleep in the same bed. :)

  3. Teeny

    This was absolutely heart-warming, Tiny. I laughed and cried a little. It was like watching a romantic comedy without the end making me think I’m going to die alone, because I’ve got you and Mia! Well done my friend :)

  4. […] if you’ve read my coming of age story you must know by now that there’s a lot of procrastinating involved. What I didn’t mention was […]

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