Dear Ex Boyfriend Not Only Am I Still A Slut, I’m Still A Lesbian

A coming of age story.

I knew I was gay since I was like 11. Seriously. I obsessively looked through my dad’s dirty magazines that he hid in a basement drawer and had a love affair with this girl in my religion class after she gave me a butch head nod in the hallway.

In high school, I had it figured out that I liked girls— but I wasn’t sure about boys. I also had no idea who I was in general. I was unsure of a lot.  I had many fashion identity crises in high school– from theater nerd to goth to punk. Eventually, I got heavily into the punk scene because I was genuinely into the music and I quickly learned that I needed a boy by my side to be taken seriously (and to protect me from the creepy older men).

I regularly attended an open mic at a local bowling alley (Long Island counterculture was even weirder than the current Brooklyn kink subcultures where people waterboard each other for fun) where I used to straight up OBSESS over Max, a hot punk girl that was never not in a leather jacket and Dr Martens. As an overweight teen with a weird pixie haircut and a checkered dress covered in skulls, I didn’t have the confidence to hit on Max. That’s when I saw Trevor. He was wearing skinny jeans and an “A Day To Remember” t-shirt. Trevor was hosting the open mic, cracking stupid jokes before introducing the next band. I was attracted to his confidence and comfort being in front of a crowd. That, and he had enormous gauges and a beard, which was cool AF for a high schooler. He even had keys clipped to his belt, which really drove me wild, and confirms I am totally gay because everyone knows keys clipped to a belt loop is a universal lesbian mating call.

I knew that I had to make him my boyfriend from that moment on. So did I go talk to him? Of course not. I sent one of my guidette friends who begrudgingly accompanied me to the punk shows to go over and tell him that I thought he was cute and give him my number.

He texted me the next day.

You know how some fashion things are inexplicably decided as “cool” in high school? Like stretchy chokers and jelly bracelets? But remember the actions that were also considered “cool’? Long Island had oddly specific rituals that were considered cool. For example, when girls brought Long Island bagels to first period (always accompanied by a Lipton tea in a gigantic can) they would never bite into the bagel. They’d tear it into little pieces, careful not to get cream cheese under their shovel-shaped acrylic nails. The other cool thing was to get a full-length mirror for your room and do your makeup and hair (only with a CHI straightener) on the floor. I didn’t make the high school rules I just followed them. I had a morning ritual: sitting on the floor in my hallway and laying out all my beauty products. It was like a meditation.

Trevor texted me on my Nextel phone (those ratchet phones with a walkie-talkie– remember them? My parents wouldn’t let me have a RAZR) just as I got seated on the floor and set my bronzer and brushes in front of me. I made a big production out of brushing my long hair extensions (the pixie cut didn’t work for me) before texting him back, although my hands were shaking with excitement and validation.

Soon enough, we were dating. I lost my P in V virginity to a Bayside record. We went to every all-ages punk show at this ratchet ass Long Island club called the Crazy Donkey. Band members took my music interest way more seriously when I was on Trevor’s arm. He shielded me from mosh pits and blocked neon-colored Nike sneakers from kicking me and pulling out my weave when crowd-surfers passed above us. Once, I got a bloody lip and he kissed it off.

But it wasn’t long until I started wishing I was with one of the Vans-and-skinny-jeans sporting girls. Trevor wasn’t a bad guy– in fact, he was way more “woke” than most. He accepted me for the loud-mouthed half-naked one-armed girl that I was, and defended me to anyone who dared make fun of me. He brought me hot coffee with vanilla creamer to homeroom every morning. (The perks of having a boyfriend that worked at 7-11.) He bought me Plan B when I thought I was pregnant, and always left me band t shirts and CDs in my locker. It didn’t change the fact that I desperately wanted to kiss girls.

So naturally, I cheated on him with the butch head-nod girl, Bailey, from my religion class. We reconnected at an audition for The Laramie Project (LMFAO, COULD LIFE BE ANY GAYER?) and we immediately started hooking up. Like, I don’t even remember how it was initiated– it was like just like wow you’re gay and so am I let’s make out in the band closet. I began spending way too much time with Bailey. Too much for Trevor’s taste. He was threatened by her, and with good reason. I stopped getting off the bus with Trevor, and started getting off the bus with Bailey. She fingered me every day on her couch, and I always finished right before we’d hear her mom’s key turn in the door. We kept textbooks open on the coffee table to play off like we were studying.

I was also making out with my friend Karla, who was my bicurious neighbor. We liked to kiss outside of our Fashion Merchandising class, cause like, why not, right?

One time Trevor caught us locking our Strawberry Lip-glossed lips in front of room 222 (photographic memory, it’s a writer’s thing) and got, like, super upset.

“You just cheated on me,” he moaned, clutching his binders and ripped up folders.

“No, I didn’t,” I gaslit him. (Holla for your imperfect narrator.)

“Yes, you did. And don’t say it doesn’t count cause it was with a girl,” he retorted. Like I said, he was woke AF. He wasn’t one of those guys that was turned on by girls kissing, thinking it was for his pleasure. He saw his girlfriend kissing someone else, period. And it hurt him.

I abused the absolute f*ck out of Trevor. I made him balance atop his skateboard with an entire pizza pie to drop off to me and my friends then made him go back home, every day after school. I ordered him around and gaslit him regularly. But I don’t have a gag reflex so don’t feel too bad for him.

ANYWAY, I had sex with Bailey at one of her infamous parties (one time my mom physically dragged me out of one because she could hear the music from her bedroom window), and Trevor found out. Again, I denied it. I thought I could ease his mind if I made him make friends with Bailey and her (naive AF, bless his heart) boyfriend. We would hang out in groups, me and Trevor and Bailey and her boyfriend, and me and Bailey would steal kisses whenever we could. I think we were both turned on by sneaking around, making out between rows of records in our local music store, Looney Tunes.

The whole school was ablaze with rumors about what dykes we were. I continued to lie to Trevor, mainly because I didn’t want my endless stream of 7-11 coffee to end. Not to mention my after-school pizza and slurpie combo. And going to punk shows without being harassed.

I eventually admitted to Bailey and I having sex at the party, and Trevor proceeded to break up with me. Then he did something shitty, which I low-key totally deserved.

I logged into Facebook, to be greeted by the status: “Not only is Dayna Troisi a slut, she’s a lesbian too.” He had changed his relationship status to single.

Well, I couldn’t exactly argue with that. So what did I do? I peed on his sweatshirt. It was a purple sweatshirt from American Apparel (basically the coolest thing a punk boy could have in high school). I don’t remember how or why the idea struck me– but when it did, it seemed like the most brilliant idea my teen brain could muster.

I still vividly remember squatting over the toilet, slipping the purple sleeves under me as I laughed with my ratchet ass best friend Allyssa. She was sipping a watermelon 4loko sitting on the bathroom counter, endlessly toying with her bleach blond extensions and Sally Hansen spray tan.

“You are a crazy dyke,” she laughed, and planted a wet kiss on me as I was still peeing. We laughed even harder.

So Trevor outed me to my entire high school, even though it wasn’t necessarily a secret. I left his dried urine sweatshirt in his locker. He left a “The Urgency” CD and a sorry note in mine.

I’m eternally grateful to Trevor for putting up with my shit, accepting who I was, eventually putting me in my place– and confirming that I am extremely gay.

When I first saw that fateful Facebook status, I can’t lie, it hurt. Those two words stung worse than my lip when a mosher hit me. But as the years wore on, and I became more comfortable with myself– and literally have built an entire career on those two identities: slut and lesbian, I feel proud to identify with them. I’m thankful to that Facebook status for calling me what I am, and what I would eventually feel happy to be. Trevor was the first person to see me for my true self: not only a slut, but a lesbian slut.