I began to realise I was bisexual when I was 12. It was actually quite weird, my best friend at the time revealed she had a crush on me and obviously, that’s normal. But I wasn’t one of the most popular kids, so I wasn’t really used to people telling me that they had crushes on me. My 12-year-old self saw it as someone proclaiming their undying love for me, so I went ahead and asked her out. And at the time, I was quite naive and clueless when it came to dating, especially the same sex. Three years later, here I am, still naive but now a little more educated, experienced and comfortable. In these three years, I’ve went from bisexual, to pansexual, to lesbian, to straight and have decided that I just fancy guys and girls and that’s just the way it is and I’m happy with that! I am very comfortable with myself being the way I am, a proud bisexual. I even have a cute little badge that says ‘proud bisexual’ on it and it’s my favourite.
As for being out, I’m not really officially out if that makes any sense. Close relatives know, along with my friends in school. But due to fear of bullying, I’m a bit fearful of coming out in school officially, not like it’s their business, it only matters to the people closest to you and that actually care to know or have the right to know. I’m really lucky to have family that support me and don’t really see me as any different and I think this is due to other family members or friends of family members being bisexual, gay, or trans. It’s the norm nowadays, as it should have always been.
Three years later, here I am, still naive but now a little more educated, experienced and comfortable.
I actually have just recently familiarised myself with labels used in the LGBT community, it’s quite easy to mix up the terms to use or not even know what terms to use at all. I learned about them all from the book “This Book Is Gay” by James Dawson. It’s a great book for people who are struggling to find a way to describe themselves, or are confused about other sexualities or labels to use. It also has a lot of stories if you’re feeling like it’s never going to get better and these real life stories just prove that it does, in the end. It also communicates really well to young people like myself, making you feel comfortable and even sometimes crossing the boundaries just to help you understand things a little more. It’s fantastic.
It’s actually appalling to see the amount of bi phobia still circling around nowadays. For example, a few weeks back I was with a few friends at Pride Glasgow. Fantastic day, honestly amazing. We were planning it for months beforehand and something I noticed whilst planning was a slight stir in the LGBT community about bisexual people attending pride. I saw a few opinions floating around, such as “if you’re bisexual, why do you even attend pride? You have a choice whether you get to be normal and date the opposite sex, so you’re not really LGBT”. This shocked me because not only is this a totally false accusation of being able to ‘choose’, but the fact it was coming from fellow members of the LGBT community, that’s what was really a shock. The fact that people we are meant to feel most comfortable with and feel we could relate mostly to said something so hurtful and damaging to our community, was a really big step back. Me, along with a few of my bisexual friends were then sceptical about going to Pride, in case this was a common thought among LGBT people, but it turns out, it really isn’t. We went and there were hundreds of (proud I must say, and rightly so!) bisexual people, wearing flags and talking about their stories to us.
I actually don’t think bisexual/pansexual identities are visible enough, at all. I feel like it’s seen more as a ‘phase’ rather than an orientation, especially by parents. When I came out to my mum as bisexual at 13, she just assumed it was a phase of some sort. And it seems like this is a common opinion by many people. It almost feels like, when identifying as bisexual; it’s not seen to be genuine. Like it’s not ‘drastic’ enough. But when coming out as gay, where you are only attracted to the same sex, that’s totally true and it’s seen as a big deal. Not that it should be made a big deal, regardless of any sexuality, but it just sometimes doesn’t feel like you are genuinely coming out. I feel like the phrase is thrown about a lot as well, being bi. Like a girl kisses another girl once and for a laugh she starts telling her friends “Oh, I must be bi!”. It’s a slow and steady process as properly identifying as bi and coming to terms with society’s views on bisexuality, with all these factors.
Be proud and be visible
There are a lot of improvements to be made in society around sexual orientation and bi visibility. I’d like to see there be a more authentic viewing of bisexuality and for it not always be assumed as a ‘phase’. Not that it’s always seen this way, it’s just a very popular opinion that should really be stamped out. I also think there needs to be more education given to younger people about LGBTQIA identities, labels, etc. This is something I am personally working on by initiating a sort of club in my school and hopefully it can be introduced into other schools, as I’ve noticed many young people lack the knowledge and confidence to be able to identify themselves as any of these labels and struggle to differentiate them. Another thing is that less people should be ashamed of their bisexuality, or try to deny it and just pass it as them going through a ‘phase'. There is a stage in everyone’s self discovery of sexuality where they feel like they just want to be ‘normal’ and just be able to like the opposite sex, like all the ‘normal’ people do. But you don’t need to be attracted to the opposite sex to be normal! Just be yourself, whether that’s a normal person, a weirdo, a lesbian, a bisexual person, a gay person, a transsexual person, anyone, anything, who cares? Just be you. Be proud and be visible.
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