I'm Isabelle, and I guess what I should say is that my story is a strange one. It’s about my struggle and it goes back to around fifth grade, so I guess I could start there. In fifth grade, I had just gone back to my old school after having left it for a year. When I came back, people still knew me because all of the same people were there. There were some new kids and I wanted to make friends with them, but the people that were there from before were spreading rumors about me, saying that I was a rude and annoying person and that that I wasn't very nice. That’s all false, and I like to think that I’m a nice person and I'm pretty sure I am. But most of these people heard these rumors and a lot of them didn’t want to be friends. But I did meet some that were great, and then by the end of the year I had finally made two best friends.
One of them is really important to the story. Her name is Ashley, and we were inseparable for a year, maybe two. I would spend the night at her house every single weekend and go over on school nights too. We would just hang out, and I would stay there until like ten at night. After fifth grade we rolled into the summer, and that's when I really started to know that I was bi. I guess I didn't really know what to do or say, so I decided to tell her. Ashley came over to my house one day after school, and I said, “Hey, I think I might be bi.” She said that she still accepted me the way I was and that she would still be my best friend, and I accepted that she would stick with me and stand by me.
But she started acting weird, and I began to accept the fact that she may not stick with me. In the end she did, and as seventh grade rolled around I thought it was going to be our year. I'm not the kind of girl who makes a lot of friends easily, and a lot of people think that I'm a social butterfly and that I have a bunch of friends, but I don't. I'm very shy, I don't talk to a lot of people, and I don't have a lot of friends, so going into this new school I had her and like two others. We decided to all sit together at the same table every day during lunch.
Ashley and I didn't have all the same classes together, so she made some other friends which I thought was fine at first. But one day when I walked into the lunchroom and was about to sit down, she stood there and said, “Sorry, Isabelle, but I don’t think you can sit here because there are too many people.” I said “Oh, okay.” That was the only place I had sat all year, so I didn't know where to go. I found some other friends that I had made that year, and I ended up sitting with them every single day instead. Ashley did not allow me to sit at her table anymore, and I thought it was really weird. One day she asked, “Do you think that you might ever have a crush on me because you're bi?” I said, “No, you're my best friend I don't like you like that,” and that's when I realized that she may have had a problem with me.
We continued to be friends until one day towards the end of the school year she texted me and ended our friendship, saying that I had been saying and doing a lot of stuff that she did not like. I felt hurt, and at the very end I was left with my one other best friend that I made that year, named Gracie. Ashley had said that Gracie also didn't want to be my friend at all, and I cried and it sucked. But Gracie is still my best friend to this day, which is great.
Seventh grade ended and now I’m currently in eighth grade, which is where my story starts to slow down. Ashley is a “popular girl,” but she's not very friendly and just hangs out with the popular crowd. I'm just kind of there. I have four or five friends and we sit at the same table every day and I can depend on them to always be there. Gracie, my best friend, is still friends with Ashley, so I hear about anything she says about me. Ashley started going around and telling rumors to the popular kids and to people who don't even know me, and now they already hate me even though I’ve never had a single conversation with them. They think they know me because Ashley says that I was this dumb little girl who was a lesbian and had a crush on all of her girl friends. When Gracie told me this I realized that I should never have trusted Ashley, but I was naïve and young and didn’t know better.
It was astonishing to me that she would even think those things, and at one point Ashley called me a dyke, which is a rude and hateful word. Even though I should have expected her to do something like this, it really hurt to hear it and I just never saw it coming. I don't really understand why people have to act like this, and why they act like this, but they do and that's the truth.
I realize now that I just have to find the right people to be friends with, and I'm still friends with Gracie and that other best friend that I mentioned at the beginning, whose name is Nestle. We’ve been friends since fifth grade, and I've made new friends who support me and that I trust. They're actually okay with everything, and I know that they won't do something to hurt me because they're nice and they’re kind and that's amazing. Even with all of these hateful people in the world, there are still people who will accept you, and listen to you, and not judge you by the color of your skin color, or your sexuality, or your religion, or anything like that that. They will still have your back and still trust you, and that's a great feeling.