It’s been a year since I first came out as bisexual, but it’s been even longer that I’ve struggled with identifying my sexuality. Since high school, I started noticing my feelings change and considered the fact that I wasn’t actually heterosexual, but I didn’t want to admit it to myself. But like any part of you, you can’t ignore it, and I found myself unable to deny this part of my identity anymore. And since then, my life has only gone up from there in several little ways.
1. I’m more confident in myself
As the Dr. Seuss quote goes, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” I was hesitant to come out because of my own internalized biases, but now I’m not. While I still worry how people will look at me every now and then, I’m much more comfortable with who I am. I’m too busy living my life to want to change for someone else.
2. I’m a better friend
Because I’m more comfortable with myself, I’m able to help my friends in ways I couldn’t before. When I say that my friends deserve love and respect, I can say it with conviction because I believe that I deserve love and respect, too. My words aren’t platitudes; they’re my new life philosophy.
3. I’m a better feminist
Feminism is all about deconstructing gender norms, and that’s inherent when you’re a queer person. Embracing my sexuality has allowed me the freedom to express myself for who I truly am, regardless of anyone’s idea on how I’m supposed to act. And that’s exactly what feminism advocates for: the freedom to live your life without societal restrictions about what’s “right” or “wrong.”
4. I’m a stronger advocate
Before, I was afraid to speak up against discrimination and prejudice against the queer community, but now I’m not. You don’t get to have an opinion on who someone is as a person. I’ll fight for as long as I have to for us to be seen, heard, and treated like people.
5. I’m happier
When I went to my first Pride event last year, I was so happy to see all the love and support around me that the energy was almost infectious. Even now, when I proudly announce my sexuality or joke about fitting into a bisexual stereotype, it brings a genuine smile to my face. I love that I’m bisexual, just like I love that I’m a writer and anything else about myself.
Everyone should be allowed to come out when they’re comfortable. If you’re not there yet, that’s okay. But I hope that, regardless if you’re out or not, regardless whether you’re still figuring out your sexuality or not, you realize that you’re worthy of love because you’re a living, breathing person like everyone else.