When I first came out to myself, it was one of the scariest feelings that I’ve ever experienced. Even to this day. I’m still not sure why, but something about the idea of being wired differently than most of humanity terrified me. As much as I hated to admit it, I wanted to be like everyone else.
On that fateful night when I was eighteen, I had a friend pick me up and cried in his car, saying that I was a lesbian. He told me, “Elena, you might not be lesbian. You’re probably bisexual. I mean, you had the biggest crush on CJ a few months ago and you’ve had boyfriends. It’s just something to consider.” And if I’m being honest, that blew my mind.
It had never occurred to me that I could be bisexual. I wasn’t even entirely sure what it meant to be bisexual. I knew it was being attracted to both men and women, but I didn’t fully understand the essence of bisexuality. No one ever sat me down and explained sexuality to me, but I casually learned it through growing up. I definitely never knew that bisexuality was an option for me.
As ashamed as I am to say, I had always sort of thought that bisexuals were just horny and wanting to hook up with whoever they were attracted to, regardless of gender. I guess it’s partly true. (Not the part about being horny though.)
It took me a few years to truly understand what it was like being a bisexual woman. At first, it was embarrassing. Telling my family and friends was uncomfortable and I felt ashamed. I hated the gross questions and assumptions.
Then, I went through a phase where I thought, “It’s 2018, no one cares who I love.” But again, I was proven wrong. Not everyone in my family accepts me for who I am, and I still have friends who tell me that I’m just going through a phase. I had to end relationships because my sexuality was an issue for my partner.
Truthfully, I’ve given up on trying to explain myself to other people. I’ll occasionally correct people when they refer to me as bisexual, and I doubt I’ll ever be fully comfortable with my family’s weird comments, jokes, and passive aggressive insults. But for the most part, especially in my own private life, I’m comfortable with who I am.
When I first had sex with a woman, it was like I was finally myself. I had been having sex with men for years, and I liked it, but I always felt incomplete. I always felt like I had never truly experienced being alive. When I had sex with a woman, it felt like I was normal, as weird as that sounds.
As cliche as it sounds, I learned that if I am to be truly happy, I can’t worry about what other people think of me. I can’t let people tell me who I am. I’m not lesbian, I’m not confused or going through a phase. I’m me. And I’m different but I have a community of queer people who have experienced and are experiencing the same things as I am. It took me a long time, but I’m finally comfortable and confident with who I am.