when i knew #43.
by Michael King
“As a girl, I shunned everything I was supposed to like. I had no time for pink, for dolls, or for makeup. I was busy wading through creek waters searching for frogs or playing catch with my dad. According to my gay friends, this is the earliest and clearest sign of knowing. Maybe they’re right, but I’ve got another one.
“When I was seventeen, I used a fake ID to get into a townie bar with a boy. It was open mic night, and a girl with long limbs and a shy smile took the stage. As she strummed guitar strings, she sung a Sara Bareilles song, and I felt something stirring inside my chest. Afterwards, I talked to her at the bar, and she agreed to hang out.
“She liked pink. When I told her I didn’t, she argued with me. She promised to show me the importance of pink. As I fell for her, I fell for the way she saw the world. I think that’s my ‘when-I-knew.’ I think it’s the day a girl stopped me in my tracks and convinced me to look at all the things nobody else could.“