Truth time. I have always found both boys and girls cute. To be completely honest, I thought everyone did. Growing up I couldn’t understand that people could only like boys or only like girls. I thought everyone felt the same way as I did.
I never spoke about it though. It wasn’t something hidden necessarily. I simply wanted to keep my feelings to myself. In hindsight, I was definitely afraid of what response I’d get. Growing up in a small town, bisexuality wasn’t a thing – well not a thing people discussed. For the most part, I was happy keeping that part of myself locked away. I could still join in with boy talk and I could think about girls. That was enough.
Going into high school the term bisexual never came up. We had PSHCE lessons on being gay or a lesbian. I believed I was an anomaly, that something was wrong with my feelings. Clearly, you couldn’t like both – my childhood belief that everyone felt like me was completely wrong. I knew I wasn’t a lesbian so therefore I was straight. Straight was the obvious choice, the one I lived with and told myself I was.
I began spending more and more time on social media and just on the internet, that’s when I came across bisexuality. I still told myself that that wasn’t me any more. That phase was long gone. I was straight.
Fear held me back; I’d never even seen a bisexual person represented in the media. I didn’t know if I met the “criteria” to be bisexual.
How can someone not know? Not pick a side? Bisexuals are much more likely to cheat! These phrases lived rent-free in my head – tormenting me constantly. Deep deep down I knew they weren’t true, I knew that I was bi. Accepting it was another thing. A scary, impossible thing.
Towards the end of high school something clicked. I can’t explain it, I don’t really understand how it happened. I remember watching Doctor Who and thinking wow David Tennant is cute and you know what so is Billie Piper. I’d had these thoughts before (I’m a huge Whovian), but I’d always tried to hide my sexuality until that moment. . The pieces fell into place.
Yet I still didn’t feel the need to come out. Realistically, I’d only need to if I began seeing a girl so I was fine still hiding. Life was easier that way. Maybe not happier but easier.
Then I watched the Brooklyn Nine Nine episode “Game Night”. In the episode Rose comes out to her colleagues and parents. Watching this character who previously had been portrayed as tough, impossible to work out and a little scary allow herself to be vulnerable. To be honest to her parents, who did react badly. I watched that episode repeatedly – obsessively even.
I came out to my friends first. It was a lot easier, we’d spoken about sexuality before so they already had an idea of what I was going to say. Coming out to them lifted a weight off my shoulders, I was lighter, freer.
A couple of weeks later I came out to my parents. I’m incredibly lucky and privileged that they were accepting and kind. I did have to explain that it really isn’t as simple as picking a side. But it went well and nothing changed between us. After that it was a simple picture from Pride on social media and I was Out.
I love being Bi. Coming to terms with my sexuality was difficult but I can now happily say that I am proud to be bi.
Photo courtesy of Kon Karampelas