Being bisexual is hard. Common misconceptions and statements include, “You’re just confused,” “Pick one" and “Bisexuality doesn’t exist! Only being bicurious does.” This is why September 23rd, Celebrate Bisexuality Day, is important. It reminds often overlooked individuals that their sexuality is completely valid and should be celebrated.
The following bisexual coming out stories and statements showcase a spectrum of reactions and experiences ranging from heart-warming acceptance to doubt to nonchalance and casualness. It is important to remember that coming out is sometimes a lifelong process, as sometimes a person can be out to their friends, but not their family, workplace or classmates. Never assume that someone’s sexuality is free to share all the time. So, in honor of Celebrate Bisexuality Day, here are eight bisexual students' coming out stories.
1. Susana, Reagan High School, Senior
“I came out to my family via a college essay. My brother told me to rewrite my personal statement to talk about something that ‘really makes me tick.’ Something ‘intensely personal.’ ‘Tell me about how you think.’ And after going through like four different drafts, I thought at this point my options were to talk about something really important to me (and out myself to my whole family), or be disingenuous and write about something else. I sat down and wrote about being queer, Mexican and a woman in Texas. About how being a part of my high school speech team helped me come to terms with my identity. About finding a community I could belong [to] while dressed in a skirt suit and heels. About doing this quietly, every single weekend, behind the world's back. After writing the essay, I grappled with whether or not it was worth sending and consulted my other amazing (but similarly closeted) queer friends. They said I should go for it. I decided I should, too. I sent the draft to my parents and my older brother while I was still at school. As soon as I did, I felt this horrific feeling of dread, this awful gnawing in my stomach, this remarkable insecurity creeping up my throat. I stayed after school having a mental breakdown and avoided going home for around three hours before my friends calmed me down, picked me up and took me home. I came home expecting some sort of scene. Like, a massive intervention or something. And to my horror, I was greeted by my parents and older brother sitting on the couch, essay printed and in hand, waiting for me. I sat down, tears already streaming, heart beating a mile a minute, bracing myself for the worst. My brother looked up at me, then opened his mouth to speak: ‘Let's talk about your sentence structure.’”
“I first came out to my best friend during junior year of high school. We were sitting in his car in the parking lot of an H.E.B. at around 11 p.m., talking about stupid stuff and deep thoughts. Eventually he told me 'I’m bi,' and without hesitation, I just went 'Woah, me too.' It was this wonderful, surreal moment, and I didn’t even register that it was the first time I had come out to someone. I just felt comfortable enough around this person, and once he opened up to me, I found it incredibly easy to share my sexuality as well. We’ve had a lot of great conversations about sexuality and labels ever since. However, I am not out to my parents yet.”
3. Mo, University of Texas at San Antonio, '21
“I think I was hanging with my middle school squad and I was like, ‘Yeah I’m bi, so what,’ and that was that.”
4. Angela, New York University, '21
“Luckily I'm fortunate enough to have family and friends that are very open and accepting. I'm pretty sure my parents still don't understand how I can like both, but they accept me no matter what.”
5. Claire, New York University, '21
“I came out to my parents as bisexual close to the start of my sophomore year of high school; I decided to come out to them to see how they’d react and if they took it well, I’d come out to them as trans, too. The homecoming dance conveniently was the same day as Coming Out Day, and I decided that Spirit Week would be a good time to come out. We had a tie-dye day, and since I didn’t have any tie-dye clothes, I wore all the rainbow things that I had. I came out to my parents right before school so I could just leave and not have to face them immediately. Later that week, I had a 'talk' with both of my parents, but separately. My dad told me that he thinks that it was just something the cool kids do nowadays and that I’m basically setting myself up to be a slut. My mom thought, and still thinks to this day, that I think that I’m bi because of my anxiety, and because I’m anxious around everyone, I think that I’m attracted to them. Needless to say, I haven’t come out to them as trans yet.”
6. Declan, New York University, '20
“I started kissing boys and then here I am.”
7. Sage, UT Austin, '21
“The first time I actually said the words ‘I am bi’ out loud was in a Whataburger with two of my best friends. Honestly, I expected big reactions, but my friends were really nonchalant about it. I was kinda shocked at how easy it was, but it turns out they were also bi. That night was just a big ‘Coming-Out Fest’ for all of us.”
“Coming out to my parents was difficult. They both accepted me and told me they loved me, reassured me this changed nothing and even admitted they always knew. It wasn't their view of me that complicated the situation, but rather our legal status. I live in the U.S. on a student visa and at the time my mother was waiting for me to graduate so she could return to Mexico with my father, who stayed behind. My mom is my best friend. She knows me better than I know myself. During the years we spent together, just the two of us in a country that many days still feels strange and unwelcoming, we became inseparable. I always told her everything. My senior year, I realized many things. One, I didn't have to pick between being straight and gay. It's ok to just be attracted to people. And two, I only had one year left living with my best friend. And I wasn't being honest. Coming to terms with my sexuality individually made me realize so much about myself and helped me develop and love myself, but I was doing this behind my room's closed door. I was locking the door knob because I didn't want to hurt her. I was afraid. But one day before senior year began, we talked about how it would all be ending soon: how much we'd miss each other and how much we appreciate each other. And it just came out. She cried. She accepted me and reassured me everything would be alright. But most of all, she thanked me. She understood it was a hard thing to do and appreciated both my courage and trust in her. My father is a different story, always has been. I've had to grow up without seeing him constantly, and for years my femininity separated us like the border keeping him away. He's a devout Christian and loves his faith. I didn't know what he would think. Sometimes he can be hard on me for not being the Mexican’s idea of what a young boy should be. Not being macho enough. I wasn't ready to tell him. But it didn't matter, my mom went ahead and did it for me. Immediately, I was furious. I saw it as a betrayal of my trust. Which to be fair, it sort of was. But then she explained to me that his visit was ending that day and soon, he would return to Mexico. So I drove him to the airport that day. He let me tell him and pretended he hadn't known. We cried. Hard. I told him I was afraid what people back home would think, like his homophobic brothers. He told me he didn't care. He told me I was his world and he would fight anyone who tried to hurt me. There was so much I wanted to say. So much he wanted to ask. But the trip was over. We arrived at the airport and he, being late to his plane, rushed behind glass doors. That conversation could've given me closure. It could've made us reconnect even more. We could've talked all day and finally had the father/son relationship I had been left out of because I left for the states. But it didn't happen. He went to his house and I to mine. I've seen him since, but so much time had passed. No matter how hard I may try, we will never finish that conversation.”
Although these coming out stories are generally uplifting, it is still an unfortunate fact of current culture that the idea of celebrating coming out even has to exist. Straight and cisgender identities should not be the default, and those who have other sexualities or orientations should not be made to feel like outsiders or abnormal. Hopefully, society will eventually reach a state where coming out no longer needs to be celebrated and stating one’s sexuality will be as simple as introducing one’s name.
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