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An Ode to the Celebrities That Awakened My Sexuality

The idea of identifying with a certain sexual orientation is daunting at any age, but when you’re young and dumb, you might not even realize what’s happening. After coming out as bisexual this past summer, I’ve taken a lot of time to look back on the past eighteen years of my life to see the signs that were present starting at a young age. Although I first started becoming aware of my attraction towards both sexes in recent years, I believe I always knew deep down inside that I wasn’t straight as a rod.

Yet as a kid, I was clueless about anything remotely close to crushing on guys, let alone girls as well. But as I reflect on my childhood up through present day, I’d like to thank a handful of my favorite role models for sparking that connection deep down inside me. This is an ode to all the celebrities that helped me recognize, understand, and embrace my sexuality.

Drake Bell

The quintessential first crush of girls my age as they ventured out of their “boys have cooties” phase. With Drake and Josh in its peak while I hit age 8, I began my search to find my perfect celebrity husband. Society taught me to seek out cute boys, and Drake was a heartthrob. If you didn’t have a crush on him, chances are you’re lying, or you discovered your love for girls at a very early age. Go you.

Dylan Sprouse

Following Drake, I decided to go after someone closer to me in age. When The Suite Life first aired, I was immediately drawn to the cuter twin, in my opinion. This crush lasted the longest, and I’d be lying if I told you it was over. I dreamt up scenarios in which I married Dylan and my best friend married Cole so that we could be sisters and live happily ever after. Little did I know that he wasn’t the only Disney Channel celeb I’d be falling hard for.

Miley Cyrus

Ah, my first girl crush. When Hannah Montana premiered, I, like every other girl my age, flocked to the TV to catch the newest episode every week. What you could call and obsession, I call pop culture. Yet there was something there that intrigued me further than just relating with a lovable teen pop sensation. I saw myself feeling the same way about Miley that I had for my previous TV crushes like Dylan and Drake, but at the young age of 10, I never connected the dots. Yet as I grew older, and Miley continued to slay, I became more and more aware of the fact that my love for her was more than just being a big fan. She was empowering. She was beautiful. She was more than just another celebrity, she was the woman who opened my eyes to the possibility that I could be attracted to more than just another cute, dumb boy. I now was open to being attracted to a cute, dumb girl as well! And damn what a wonderful thing it is to have such an amazing figure such as Miley to be the one to awaken that discovery in myself.

Joe Jonas

Yet at the young, dumb age of 10, I wasn’t ready to overwhelm myself with breaking the status quo, so instead I moved forward to look for more pretty boys. And I found the prettiest of them all. Although all Jonas brothers are blessed by the gods in the appearance category, Joe stuck out to me and became my One True Love for around two years of my tween life. The hair, the voice, the personality. Total package in my 11-year-old eyes. No boobs, no problem in my book because the last thing a middle school girl needs is to be confused.

Brendon Urie

Following the trend of falling in love with talented male singers, I moved forward and connected my ninth grade emo stage with the overwhelming urge to kiss Brendon Urie. A god was sent down from the heavens and placed on this earth to bless us with every little detail about him. Although this crush was hetero, I became obsessed with his life, which opened my eyes to bigger and better things. As a huge supporter and member of the LGBT community, Brendon inspired me to dig deep and think about myself, while simultaneously planning out our wedding. His music is incredibly open and inviting to the gay community and helped and continues to help me understand and be comfortable in my skin. Although this crush developed early in my high school career, my passion for him will never dissolve as he continues to woo and inspire me.

Maia Mitchell

Another girl, aka what you came here to read about. But let me just remind you that I am bi so I can’t neglect to give the cute boys some attention! So Maia Mitchell came into my life when ABCFamily introduced her character as Callie in The Fosters. Now older and wiser, I was more aware of the possibility of having a girl crush, yet I still didn’t embrace it fully. Through her performance on the show as well as her life on social media, I was exposed to her in a more personal manor. Her personality shined and I fell in love with her and her sense of style. Still identifying as straight at this point in my life, I buried these emotions until I became more bicurious in my lifestyle.

Dan Smith

The boys are back and this boy changed my life. Dan Smith, the lead singer of my favorite band, Bastille, evoked feelings deeper inside of me than just the looks that lie on the surface of these crushes. Aside from being another pretty face (which he is), I resonated with his lyrics as they spoke to me on a more spiritual level. Unlike Urie’s they did not touch topics in the LGBT community, but they did teach me that attraction has more to do with what’s on the inside, which has helped me develop immensely when falling for members of both sexes.

Haley Ramm

As I matured I found what I wanted in life. Still bicurious at this point in my life, I was way more in tune with developing crushes on females. Haley Ramm might be an unknown name for most, but an important one for me. She played Brenna, April’s little sister on ABCFamily’s Chasing Life that only aired for a couple seasons. A small actress from a small production sparked my attention because in the show, Brenna also dealt with the struggle of being bicurious. She went through this while in a relationship with a male, so it gave me a sense of relatability because I was going through the same thing at the time. My adoration for her character lead me to have an interest in her life and after discovering that she too resonated with the character she portrayed, I felt this sense of warmth as my crush developed.

Halsey

Fully aware of my sexuality as bisexual at this point, I turned to more music to help me gain comfortability in my skin. Halsey quickly became a huge girl crush for me as she stood up for all the right things in this world. Aside from being drop dead gorgeous and everything I look for in a woman, she preached the important things to make sure that everyone gained the equality that they deserved. Being a minority in every sense, she puts her all into fighting for proper treatment for those who are going through the same thing. Her story is inspiring and she was such a huge figure in my life during the months where I began coming out. Although I don’t know her on a personal level, it felt like she was with me through every step of the way, as she was my final celebrity crush before I declared myself as bi.

 

All the celebrities here played a huge role in my discovery, as they are all so prominent in the media. As I grew up and learned more and more about myself, they were all there to be excellent role models during each moment of my life.

Everyone who struggles with sexual identity understands the negative portrayal that the media sheds on the LGBT+ community. Having these fairytale crushes helped me stay grounded in my thoughts without straying too far from my morals. Of course I didn’t identify myself purely through thoughts on celebrities, but I stand by the statement that without them, I may not be where I am today. Everyone gets a dumb crush every once and a while, and they are hard to ignore when such beautiful people exist all around us. Open your heart and shed light on who has made an impact in your life in new ways because you might just owe it to them for giving you a new perspective.

 Thank you to all the celebrities that gave me a chance to find myself. I owe it to you.

 

Photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

UCF Contributor
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