Reaction from the Gay and Lesbian Community
¬Do collegiettes who identify as bisexual feel prejudice from the gay and lesbian community? Are they able to fit in with the gay and lesbian community or are they isolated because they don’t choose just one gender when it comes to who they’re attracted to?
Hannah: “Whether I feel accepted by the LGBT community (or not) is a tricky one. Do I feel accepted by the community as a whole? Not exactly. It feels like there's this perception that I could just as easily end up with a guy, so what am I complaining about? But, as with most things, the way I feel toward a broader community pales in comparison to what I've experienced on a personal level. My best friend is gay, and he's the first person I told (accidentally). There's no way I could have done any of it, this whole crazy coming out experience, without him. To me, that's all that really matters.”
Alyx: “I don't really feel a lot of prejudice. Although my friends are all awesome, so there's that. If I'm in a LGBTQ space and talk about having a boyfriend, I get instant surprised reactions, but nobody actually straight up says anything. They WILL sometimes ask how I identify, which is great! I'd much rather people ask than just make assumptions.”
Reaction to Coming Out
How does the rest of the college community react towards bisexuality? What is the hardest part about being out?
Alyx: “I feel invisible more than anything else. A lot of people will decide your sexuality for you, based on whom you're dating. So seeing me with a boyfriend automatically makes me straight. Another thing that's kind of annoying is how, if I'm on a date with my girlfriend, people will assume that we're just friends going out for lunch. But then if we kiss we're suddenly hyper-visible and people complain about us showing too much affection, even though straight people can do a lot worse without people complaining. I don't necessarily hate people not automatically knowing my sexuality, it just irks me when strangers assume they know who I'm dating.”
Hannah: “The first time I came out, it was a complete accident. One of my best friends is gay and started coming out late last year. We were just kind of talking about his coming out process, and I said something like, ‘I'm really so proud of you, because if I'm being honest... I'd probably identify more as bisexual. But I could never come out. I just couldn't do it.’ So we talked it out that night (and a million times since - he's been amazing). And I was planning to keep it between us, basically forever. But the next morning I woke up and it just felt so good that someone knew, that I'd said it out loud. I'd known I was attracted to girls for a really long time, but I'd never put a label on it, even in my mind. That morning was the most honest I'd felt in my whole life, and I didn't want to just throw that away. So when I saw the same friend that day, I told him that I wasn't ready to accept it yet, but I wanted to someday, and I didn't want to close myself off to anyone. Then the same day, I told another friend. I told another the next day, and it just kind of continued from there. I still haven't told anyone who wasn't a friend, and I've very intentionally only told friends who I know will be completely accepting. I'm not ready to come out to the more homophobic people in my life yet. But I will be, someday!”