The night I realized I was bisexual was one of the scariest of my life.
I was at my friend’s house, and she has another girl over that I had never met. Upon meeting her, I noticed she was pretty cute. I started to find myself attracted to a girl. Not a boy… a girl. It started slow, and the more I tried to ignore it, the louder the thought got. It started out as a little thought and then it became a little stronger until it was a feeling and then it was full-blown panic and attraction. I felt my heartbeat quicken and I felt like the room got darker.
Once I acknowledged what was happening, I started freaking the fuck out. So I texted my friend who is gay. I told him that he needed to pick me up and that I was having an anxiety attack. He was really confused but was always a very good friend so he said he was on his way and would be there in 30 minutes.
Now I had to find an excuse to leave. I was supposed to sleep over. I became extremely introverted and they commented on it. I just told them I had too much caffeine and my heart hurt. I was gonna go home and sleep it off. I didn’t drive so I told them I called an Uber. After a few minutes, I couldn’t stand it and told them my uber was here. I waited on a curb outside. It was freezing cold but anywhere was better than in there.
My friend pulled up, and I jumped in his car, then we parked down the street. He was super stressed and wanted to know what was wrong. Immediately, I burst out into tears. I confessed that I was lesbian and I was fucking terrified. He pointed out that I liked his other friend, who is a boy, and have been attracted to guys in the past, so I would most likely be bisexual.
This shook me to my core.
I confessed that I honestly always knew I liked girls but I was in denial. Growing up liking girls and not knowing it is difficult because you end up becoming weirdly fixated on them and still a bit competitive. That moment then was one of the worst feelings of my life.
I knew my life was going to be harder because of my sexuality. I knew that people would think of me differently.
I thought of having to tell my family, and the humiliation I would feel. My family had even accused me of being lesbian before and I had always denied it. Knowing they were partially right was super embarrassing. I felt transparent. I felt naked. I felt impure and less than. I knew I’d have to come out eventually too. I couldn’t live my life in secret.
I expressed all my fears and feelings to my friend and he helped me so much that night. More than anyone else could have ever done. He told me his coming out story and how scared he was. He told me what it’s like to be judged for something he can’t change and what it’s like for him when people see him holding his boyfriend’s hand on the street.
But he told me how good it felt when he told his friends and they accepted him. The relief he felt when they knew that part of him that was so fragile and personal.
I was comforted that night, but the weeks to come were torture. I felt like this secret was a bubble in my chest that grew larger in my chest every time I thought of it. This feeling wasn’t one that would go away with time. This feeling was taking over me. I remember crying as I told my best guy friend and sobbing into another friend’s arms as she pets my shoulders.
I remember being so sad and ashamed of something I couldn’t change.
That was three years ago.
Now things are different. Now I am a little more comfortable with myself. I live in a Cairo, where homosexuality is extremely taboo and can be punishable by law. I have to be careful about who I talk to about it and can’t even set foot in a gay club. I force myself to look away from pretty girls with nice smiles. But when I am in the States or Europe, where it is much more accepted, I feel at ease.
I never knew that bisexuality was an option. Things always seemed so black and white.
You’re lesbian or straight. But that night, in the car with my friend, despite the fear and shame I felt, a part of me was liberated. I will never again shut that part of myself away and will do everything I can to live a true life with whomever I choose to love.
I am honest with myself and have nothing more to hide. I feel free.