Rowan's Story


I kind of first realised that I liked girls as well as boys when I was quite young but I didn’t pay much attention to it. I put it aside and decided it was a problem for another day. When I was about 11, a friend came out to me as a lesbian and I came out as bi and we had a laugh about it. Then I came out to my friends over the next few weeks. Most of them were really great. My friend and I came out at the same time, as a team, and almost all of our friends were amazing. Some said they were supportive but didn’t want to associate with us but most were good.

Afterwards I started googling different sexual orientations because I wasn’t sure that I wanted to call myself bisexual. I found pansexual and I identified as pansexual instead. Then, over the next few years, I wasn’t sure what word to use and sort of wiggled my hands and said ‘Meh’. Now, I identify as bisexual because it does what it says on the tin and people understand what you mean easier.

I was very lucky that my closest friends were really supportive. I subconsciously made friends with people who were non-judgemental. I was pleasantly surprised by their reactions.

I was in the shower one day and decided that I would come out to my mum. I decided and then sort of stood there in a towel and said ‘Mum, I’m bisexual’. She said ‘okay, me too’. I came out to my stepmum and she was accepting and chilled out. I haven’t directly come out to my dad because I don’t know how he’d react. I think he knows though.

I’ve seen lots of biphobia. I haven’t experienced much myself because my friends and family are really great. I’ve overheard it though, people saying things like ‘bi people are greedy’, or ‘she’s one of those bisexuals’, and also ‘choose one’.

I noticed a lot in pop culture people seem to associate bisexuals with threesomes and orgies. It’s disgusting for people to assume that about a whole group of people- that just because they like both men and women that they would want both at the same time. It is offensive and hurtful.

Another example of biphobia is people denying the existence of bisexuality. Thinking everyone is gay or straight. Not to myself, but when celebrities come out- the response is ‘oh, but they’re married to a man so they’re straight’. That’s wrong as well.

I’d also like to see the media portray bisexual people in a true and positive way.

I think that there’s maybe two people that I’ve seen in the media- TV shows- that are bisexual and it’s not the most positive portrait. There’s almost no bi visibility in TV, music, or film. I don’t understand why, because there’s a lot of gay people in the media but there are no bi people except for maybe Glee, but no one watches that.

I think people are afraid of portraying bisexual people. I think there is a lot of biphobia both from the ‘straight’ and ‘gay’ communities and people feel they don’t understand. People make jokes about Christians but not about Muslims because they don’t understand the religion and don’t want to do it wrong. They understand gay but not bi so maybe that’s why they don’t represent them.

Education is an important one to improve society. We were taught about gay people in school but not bisexual people. I’d also like to see the media portray bisexual people in a true and positive way. That would do a lot of good.

Rowan, 16

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