Am I a Late Bloomer?

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Am I a Late Bloomer?

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   “No one told me I was a late bloomer,” says Orchestra major Olive Giner, 11. Olive, on the brink of being a teenager, and just a few years shy of adulthood, found herself struggling with her sexuality, her femininity, and her developing body as she hit these awkward pimple-filled years.

   The health talk she received in fifth grade made Olive feel like there was this divide between the boys and the girls, she said. There was a lack of education, over the next few years, she found herself struggling heavily with her gender identity and her sexuality, and her feelings of a divide between boys and girls made it harder for her to know if what she felt was right.

   Olive said, “When I did start to mature it made me even more uncomfortable, because then my body didn’t feel like my body anymore.”

  When she hit middle school and discovered she felt an attraction to girls, it felt wrong to her because of what she had known all of her life.

  Olive found gender roles being pushed heavily on her from every direction she looked. She grew up in a Catholic family that strictly enforced gender roles. When she found a connection with a girl in middle school, she said it felt like a mistake, like it wasn’t really her. But it was. She was bisexual.

  When she opened up about her sexuality, her mom was the strongest influence and biggest help as she broke free from the roles instilled on her. To Olive, she is the perfect example of a strong independent woman that still maintained her femininity. As Olive came to terms with her sexuality, she realized that being attracted to girls didn’t mean she had to be less feminine.

  Growing up today, students are able to quickly turn to the internet and find the answers to then most burning questions. If there is something we don’t feel comfortable asking, there is a community sitting there ready for questions about the hair on your body or how to tell someone you like them.

  “The internet probably saved me growing up. If it weren’t for that, I think I’d still be unhappy and confused,” Olive said.

  She found LGBTQ+ role models and people struggling with the same conflicts. The internet helped her grow and become comfortable with who she was. She was able to take phrases like ‘Throw like a girl,’ and throw it out the window.

  Olive said, “Being a woman has been used as an insult for so long that it instills this kind of standard of women being weaker-which isn’t true at all.”

  There was a part in her life where it wasn’t really addressed that what she was feeling was okay. As the years have passed, she became confident in who she is and understanding that what she felt wasn’t something to hide. Being a woman to Olive means more than just Barbies and makeup.

  “We struggle together, we endure together, and we rely on each other,” Olive says, “It’s a sense of togetherness that we share, even if it’s just a simple giving the girl in the next stall a tampon.”