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The Feeling of Butterflies in Your Stomach

by Joaquín Bustamante

June 21, 2022

The first time I felt butterflies in my stomach was something strange. I was starting high school, and one day while walking through the courtyard and I saw this kid sitting on the ground with his friends in one of the hallways. I clearly remember thinking, “What a cute kid. He’s perfect. He looks like Superman.” As I looked at him, he looked at me. I don’t know why he looked back at me, but I felt very ashamed of that feeling I had when I looked at him. It was like butterflies in my stomach mixed with guilt. I didn’t understand those thoughts and feelings, but I felt as though I had done something wrong. I had never seen two men holding hands in the street, let alone kissing. The most I had heard of was a man who lived near my house and everyone said he liked other men. People would point at and mock him. Was I like that man? I couldn’t be. Everyone was pointing at him and I didn’t want to be judged like that. But there I was, also liking a man.

The year went by and the boy who caught my eye graduated from high school. I started to look at other boys, but I couldn’t forget him. I took every opportunity to go to the store his mother owned, just in case he was there. When I returned from my mission, he was working at the bank in town. I still thought he was a good-looking guy.

It’s difficult for young people with similar feelings and desires to live in a society where they face prejudice and religious morality that condemns those feelings as being wrong, even if they are rooted in the same kind of love as every other person feels and expresses. Then, I had no one to turn to for guidance. My best friend was straight. All of my friends were straight and had girlfriends. Believing I had no other choice, I also had a girlfriend, but I never felt the butterflies in my stomach that I did on that day in the school courtyard when I saw that boy.

Now, I know that it is not wrong to feel butterflies in your stomach. It’s not wrong for one guy to like another guy who looks like Superman. It’s not wrong to live life differently from those around you. You are unique and special, just as special as your best friend or that cute guy. You are unique and special because you are a child of God.

Live your life responsibly and respectfully. Live knowing that you are not alone.

This article was submitted by an Affirmation community member. The opinions expressed are wholly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Affirmation, our leadership, or our staff. Affirmation welcomes the submission of articles by community members in accordance with our mission, which includes promoting the understanding, acceptance, and self-determination of individuals of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and our vision for Affirmation to be a refuge to land, heal, share, and be authentic.

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