I hate being a lesbian after being raped

I never knew another lesbian or bisexual girl until I went to college. My high school was in a pretty conservative town, and nobody talked about LGBT stuff. There was no gay/straight alliance, there was no spirit week, and there was nobody else who felt the way I did, as far as I could see. I had friends, but none of them knew I liked girls. It was frustrating, and I felt very alone with a secret everyone would abandon me over if they knew.

So when I left my hometown to attend college, one of the first things I did was join their LGBT club. There was a strong sense of community and I made a lot of friends, but there was also this girl there, the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I figured she had to be dating someone, or she's straight trans, or maybe she's just an ally. But no. She was single, she was interested in girls, and specifically, she was interested in me. We dated for a few months. Even after what happened, I can't help but look back at those months fondly. For the first time in my life, everything was out in the open and I could be myself without fear of judgment. Even if onlookers were judging, they didn't say anything, and I didn't care anyway because I was in love with someone who understood how I felt. 

Then one day, she raped me.

I have all the feelings that I suppose are "typical" of rape victims, especially those who were virgins before being raped. I felt violated and humiliated. I blamed myself for not being able to stop her and then for not contacting the police soon enough. I felt like I had no privacy as I was forced to describe the incident in detail to a male officer, who didn't seem all that concerned once I mentioned that I had been raped by another woman. Almost a year after the incident, I still have nightmares about it. I don't feel safe when I'm alone with someone. This has all been terrible.

Worse, however, is that I hate myself more now than I ever did growing up. I repressed my feelings for two decades, hid them away so nobody would judge me. But I still felt basically okay with myself. If thought I'd have been accepted, I wouldn't have had any problem telling everyone I was gay. But now I've tried that in a supportive environment, and the first girl I fall for is a rapist. The only romantic experience I have is something that ended in getting betrayed by someone I thought I could trust in a way that has made the last year a haze of self-loating.

I realize, reading that last paragraph back, that I haven't really explained why this has made me hate being a lesbian, but I lack the words to describe why. There's no logical reason it should. I do hate being gay, though.

Things have been getting better. The nightmares are less frequent, there's the occassional day where I don't think about it, and I don't feel nervous around my friends. But that deep-seeted hatred for myself I've tried to describe is still there, burning in the background of my life constantly.

User Comments
Anon-1

Hey. Go easy on yourself. This isn't your fault, and it's awful that you've had to deal with all this fallout on top of feeling unsupported for being who you are. There's nothing wrong with being a lesbian. It makes total sense that you'd feel like hell, but trust me: this isn't your fault. It's not, your, fault. 

Anon-2

You sound like a nice person. I know this doesn't seem like a lot to go on, but I grew up under similar circumstances. I can't imagine what it was like to go through this; please know that my thoughts are with you. Don't let this knock you out of the running or convince you that there's something wrong with *you* -- there isn't. There's just a lot wrong with a lot of other people :/ Are there any support groups where you are? I've found those to be very helpful, myself.

I didn't go through what you did, but I've started to hate myself too. What I'm realizing, though, is that holding myself back is only making it that much worse. I really wish you the best; I hope you're able to get back out there, and try again.

Anon-3

What happened to you is *not* your fault. Don't let it get you down. It's the fault of only one person, made worse by the reaction of a society that doesn't accept certain relationships -- and, as a result, doesn't understand how they affect people. 

Anon-4

Other peoples' ignorance only makes them look bad. They've got nothing on you. They're probably jealous. They don't understand what it is to be violated, physically or emotionally. Stay strong, and hang in there; I promise, you will find someone who would never do such an awful thing to you. Someone who genuinely cares.