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Sex + Relationships

A Walk-In Closet: Being Partially Out at College

Throughout high school, way before I wanted to admit to myself that I was bisexual, I was obsessed with everything gay. I was in the Gay-Straight Alliance, passionately read LGBTQ+ news, and was even watching gay foreign films. I think watching people in the media express their sexuality in ways that I couldn’t (and sometimes still can’t) comfort me.

I can’t come out of the closet. I grew up in a strict Catholic, military family and coming out is the scariest thing to me. Besides telling a doting mother and a liberal stepdad, I never told anyone I was bi. I’m sure that people could guess that I wasn’t totally straight, but rumors were fine as long as they weren’t confirmed.

And then I kissed a girl. It was terrifying. I wanted to brush it off like it was a harmless thing. It was just a peck anyway. I pushed down my sexuality and it was fine for awhile. I fell for guys and I thought maybe the bi thing was a phase. And then another female crush came along I had finally had a chance to pursue her. Then we kissed and I felt dizzy. It was something out of a cliche romance novel. And, as soon as it was over, I knew that I couldn’t just brush it off as experimenting. I was falling for another girl. And I was ashamed of it.

When I moved to college I knew it would be more liberal. So I was more open about my sexuality. I could tell my friends that I was bisexual and not worry about it traveling. Of course, I don’t want everyone to know, but it’s nice that it isn’t an earth-shattering secret anymore.

And, although I’ve learned to accept that I’m bisexual, it’s not easy being out in one place and not in another. When I come home, I know that I can’t talk about the girls that I’m crushing on as much as the guys. I know that if I have a female partner, we’ll have to pretend to be close friends. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s better off than a few years ago when I wasn’t out to anyone. And maybe someday I’ll be more open and able to talk about my sexuality at home. But until then I’m happy to have my sanctuary at Rowan.


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