I have always been attracted to women, particularly to traditionally feminine women of conservative taste. I never felt attraction to men or boys.
The ideal of my attraction was Miss B, my fourth grade teacher.
When the other girls started to take an interest in boys, they spoke of it in the way I would have expressed my interest in women. I had the good sense not to express that interest.
I didn’t know there was a word for my interest in women. I didn’t know (or know of) any openly gay women, and I didn’t fit my home town’s stereotype of lesbians.
I was also a child of the Catholic Church. Being a lesbian was a sin. (Even though it’s not.) My interest in women was so innocent that it couldn’t be sinful.
It was only later, when I saw that lesbians are as diverse as straight women, that I realized that I was gay.
And that was the start of Hell.