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I had been an openly gay man for six years when I fell in love with a woman I'd known since I was 13.
Growing up on the Isle of Wight, we bonded over adolescent heartbreak, which happened to me more than once as I got to know the boys in our year.
I was lucky enough to have a lot of supportive people around me, but many of them still needed sitting down and talking to before they adjusted to the fact that I was now with a woman after years of identifying as gay.
Many of these discussions turned out to be just as enlightening as they were frustrating.
It's close to what psychologist Carol Dweck calls a "growth mindset": Whether it's while your best friend is fishing, or your mother is sitting down with a glass of wine, or your brother is half-watching something trashy on Netflix, there are certain points in most situations where a person is comfortable enough to accept the challenge your ideas present to their worldview.
It was important for me to create an environment that was safe for everyone – I wanted my family and friends to be receptive, but I also had to look after myself and make sure I felt comfortable telling my story.
When it finally dawned on me that, yes, this was love, I was well into my first year at university.
Throughout all of this, should I have been thinking, "don't do this, you're gay"? Overcoming self-inflicted heartbreak is a lot harder than admitting that there's an exception to the rule. Saying "I'm gay" was daunting when I came out before, but at least the label was there to do some of the explaining for me. I've occasionally used the word "queer" for brevity, but it doesn't always feel appropriate, since in my experience many people still take offence at the term.
We spent the day together, talking, playing video games.
But before long, she was waiting for a bus back home.
Others, like me, do away with the label altogether.
Sometimes there is no snappy way of putting it, no label that really describes how your head and your heart work.
Now that it no longer seemed to fit, I looked for other words to replace it. A friend of mine called me out on it once, voicing some strong opinions about how often the word queer was historically used to humiliate and isolate LGBT people.