The Catfisher

It’s taken me a while to figure out how to write this. As a writer, I’m used to writing about things that are personal but don’t make me vulnerable. The story I’m going to tell will leave me open to criticism, hatred, and whatever else there is out there waiting for me but I have to do this. I need to do this. 

Over the past few months I’ve been struggling to accept who I am, a lesbian. It’s been a long process but it was something that I hid. I didn’t hide it because I was afraid of what my friends would say or what the world would think but because I feared I wouldn’t be accepted by my family but that’s a different story for another time. I tell you this to say that my way of running from the fear was by creating a fake identity online. Why? Simple, I could go there and forget about my fears and forget that I was a coward. My personality could shine without the whole world knowing including my family. I’ve always been a strong person but when it came to being me? Not so much. Even around my family I’ve held parts of who I am back. Now? I just wanna be me. 

Anyways, a little over a week ago I was at a friend’s show that was taking place in a gay club. A little tipsy, I walked outside to have a cigarette. Next to me sat a group of three girls but only one caught my eye. She was beautiful and you could tell she was probably an amazing person. I wanted to talk to her but who was I to step into a conversation with three people I didn’t know? So I sat there and puffed on my cigarette until one of my friends came to join me. Now this friend? He was confident and outspoken. He somehow managed to find a way into their circle and of course I had to join him but I found myself avoiding “her” eyes. I don’t know why but I just couldn’t speak so I hatched up a plan to buy her a drink and send it to her when we went back inside but my other friend was about to perform and she left before I had the opportunity. I kicked myself for not doing anything but that night as I was browsing through HER or Tinder (I can’t remember which one), there she was. It was my real profile, so I swiped right in hopes that she would remember me and give me the opportunity to get to know her. I waited and waited but there was nothing. I found this girl so intriguing that I couldn’t stop thinking about her. 

A few hours later I had switched to my alter ego (which is now deleted forever) and guess who pops up in my inbox? Her. I instantly responded thinking that she never liked the real version of me. We talked and I found myself growing more and more interesting in her. She was someone I could see asking out but I realized that if I wasn’t myself then it wouldn’t work so slowly I told her and being too afraid to read her response, I deleted the profile. I wanted to make it up to her but no matter what she ignored me. 

She had and has every right to. Not only was I a coward, I had broken her trust even though I didn’t know she was starting to trust me. All I wanted to do was make it up to her but I realized that I couldn’t. 
This whole experience has forced me to:

  1.  Accept that I am indeed a lesbian and it’s okay
  2. Learn that being yourself is what really matters
  3. Consider the feelings of the people we meet online. Whether fake or not. 

I don’t know if she’ll ever reach out to me. If I could go back in time I would approach her at the bar, buy her a drink, and show her the real me. If she ever decides to reach out I know that I would treat her with respect, never lie to her again, treat her like a queen, and work my ass off to earn her trust back. I find myself thinking about here every single day. Yeah, I know I sound stupid but it’s the truth. 
Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Catfishing hurts more than just you. Whatever issues we have it’s up to us to deal with them so that hopefully one day we’ll be comfortable in our own skin.