My friend is amazing. She’s driven, smart, funny, generous. She will accomplish anything she sets her mind to. She is one of the most quick-witted people I’ve ever met. If you dig deep enough, in her you will find one of the biggest hearts one will ever come across. She’s simply incredible. She’s also bisexual. When she told me, she cried. And it broke my heart.

She cried because she hated her sexuality. She was tired of straying from the societal norm to be ogled at by all of those considered "normal." What hurt her even more was that she was a staunch advocate for the rights and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. She had a guilt that ate away at her because of her desire to be straight.

She cried because she knew the perception of her existence would be forever changed. When her name was said, no longer would her warm smile and bubbly personality be the first thing that came to the minds of some. Instead, she would be primarily identified as the bi girl. She hated that. Why did sexuality only matter when it didn’t start with "hetero—?"

She also cried because some of her friends would leave her if they knew. They didn’t want to be associated with the "chick that likes guys and girls," and that "she can’t even pick!" She loved her friends, and she was afraid to face the reality that maybe they didn’t love her as wholeheartedly as they claimed.

She cried and cried. She cried because her family was going to judge her. Regardless of anything they might say in their defense, they can’t take back the comments they’ve made and the stereotypes they’ve fed into. “Bisexuality isn’t real.” “Bisexuality is just a front to say you’re gay later on.” “Bisexuality is just a phase.” “Why do gays have to marry—what’s the big deal?” “You have to be masculine to be a lesbian.” “You have to be feminine to be gay.” Those words swirl in her head and the intensity of their currents never die.

 The thought of coming out time and time again was both terrifying and exhausting. Why was it her responsibility to enlighten people of her sexuality? If she doesn’t, then it’s rude, impolite—except it’s her life! Why did everyone need to be informed about her life? She thought. She knew there would be negative reactions from some, yet it was still her responsibility to tell them anyway. The idea of such a process was depleting already.

She worried people were going to talk if she came out— gossip was inevitable. “Did you hear _______ is bi?” She wanted to control her story, but she knew it was impossible. She wanted to be the one people heard it from and on her terms, no one else’s. She wanted to be there to hear every single word someone would ever utter about it, but she couldn’t. She couldn’t control the whole situation. She couldn’t control her own coming out story.

She was scared. She was scared of all of the aforementioned and more. She was afraid to fall in love and be rejected because of her bisexuality. She was afraid of rejection in general—by friends, family, lovers, employers, strangers. She was afraid to have her future limited because she wasn’t heterosexual. She was afraid to let her guard down because she knew the pain would be too much. She was scared because of rejection, discrimination, judgment, perception, distaste—all due to a trait she was born with, a trait she couldn’t possibly control—is infuriating and deafeningly disheartening. So, she cried some more.

Her pain and weeping broke my heart because she hated what she couldn’t control. She hated it because society has instilled within her, as well as every other person who has ever struggled with sexuality, that that is how people react. People gossip, people change perceptions, people make snap judgments, people feed into stereotypes, people leave, and people reject. However, people also love. People encourage, people listen, people learn, people stay, people enter, and people accept.

For the people that are scared, for the people that have cried—some people will react, some people will affirm your fears. However, some people will prove you wrong. Some people will accept you, some people will love you. These people won’t care about the gender that attracts you, but the persona carried with you. They’ll be indifferent about your love life, but be concerned about your happiness. These people exist. Maybe, just maybe, they even outnumber the people who judge. If you’re scared, know that someone out there will always love you. And if you cry, remember that you, too, are simply incredible.

Lead Image Credit: Pexels