Quarantine gave me so much time to think about myself, my life, and the decisions I’ve made to date. I did what everyone did in the month of March. I watched (and cringed VERY hard at) Tiger King, I baked banana bread, made whipped coffee and questioned my sexuality! Once I found myself on bi-girl TikTok, I noticed that somehow my social media algorithm knew me better than I knew myself.
I remember grappling with the idea of a fluid sexuality as a young teen but after being bullied by classmates and even sometimes friends, I kept my sexual identity a secret. I have many memories of girls trying to insult me by calling me a lesbian so I did what I thought I was supposed to do, I found boyfriends. I would pick a random boy in my class, walk up to them, and ask them to be my boyfriend. As sad as it sounds now, it worked every time. I slowly became known as “the girl who dated everyone” but I wasn’t dating anyone that I was actually attracted to. The label followed me from the hallowed halls of my middle school to the big pond that was to become my high school. I was terrified of girls… I mean, seriously. Terrified that they would see my kindness or friendship as a sexual advance because at that time, being gay seemed like it was the worst thing you could be. I was terrified of being rejected by my female peers or being exposed as an outcast, even though I felt like one the entire time.
I would catch myself embellishing stories to my girl friends to make sure I sounded perfect but I never realized that I was lying to nearly everyone around me. I had one personality for my best friends, one for my family, and one for my school peers… It was exhausting, and none of them even felt real. My anxiety about my sexuality and the internal shame I was grappling with was absolutely crippling and it made me into a person that I am not proud of.
Years have gone by since I was that sad, judgemental person and I stand here today, incredibly proud of who I have become. I had to be that person so I could learn to become this person. I wish I had more queer mentors to look up to in the media but unfortunately, I grew up in a time where strong, sexually independent women were ostracized and made to seem crazy. The first openly gay woman that I knew of was Ingrid Neilson when she posted a video entitled: “Something I Want You To Know (Coming Out)”. I remember scouring the comments and seeing nothing but support and it had 15 years old me feeling some type of way.
I built up the idea of “coming out” to my friends and family but ultimately never did it until this summer. I knew that my parents would love and accept me, regardless of who I love, but something inside of me also made me doubt that. My family is pretty emotionally disconnected from each other but there has always been a sense of love in my household. My mother’s parents disowned her after she had my older sister and my father was raised by his mentally ill mother and no father. The rejection that they experienced from their parents scared me into believing that they could do that to me. I
tried to do it in a sappy, sentimental way, but something came up every time. I should have known that that just wasn’t my style.
The day finally came. Bisexual visibility day. I found a graphic on Instagram that I shared on all of my personal platforms and suddenly, I had a thought… I saved the graphic and sent it in my family group chat with the caption “surprise!” It seems a bit sudden but I was met with acceptance and pure pride. My dad told me that he was proud of my courage and strength, then told me that he can’t imagine how challenging it must have been to do it alone. My mom “like” reacted to the photo and called me to tell me she loves me.
Compulsory heterosexuality is a beast that I don’t wish upon anyone and I hope that in writing this piece, I can help someone accept who they are. I hope that I can be another openly queer woman for someone to look up to. I hope that by sharing my unconventional coming out story, that I can prompt people to stop fixating on who others love and simply accept it. I am bisexual and I am incredibly proud!