I was 17 when I came out to myself as a lesbian. I had always felt that there was something odd about my sexuality, but it wasn’t until I was 17 that I was able to tell myself: I am a lesbian. As soon as I came out to myself, I desperately wanted to come out to my mother. We were in Saudi Arabia at the time and I browsed through gay websites and wondered what my mother would say about them. We are very close, my mom and I. We never kept secrets from each other. I was always open and honest with her about everything. I never attempted to hide my boyish qualities or to tell her that I didn’t want to get married when I grew up.