When I first told someone I was bisexual, they were absolutely thrilled.
Weird, right? I mean, you’d think they’d treat me like I had the plague or a freak or something. But the truth is, most teenagers in my Conneticut high school didn’t seem to care at first. I chalked it up to all the movies about it, all the books, all the “I Love You for Who You Are” things.
But then the second sentence was “Who do you like?” Innocent enough. I should have expected it. But it threw me a curveball, as they started listing the girls in the school who were lesbian and offering to fix me up. As boys started hitting on me with their girlfriends there (and let me tell you, that’s a big yuck) or started avoiding me like the plague. As conversations about school dances and what to wear and shopping were hushed when I came by. I mean, it wasn’t intentional or hostile. But all the stereotypes that go with liking girls (even if you also like boys) came back to haunt me. Being a writer and founding an animal welfare club I wasn’t afraid to advocate didn’t help either. I don’t blame them. I’m so many people at once, it’s hard to get to me. Because I’m also the other bi. Bi-polar. Still...
I wish someone had warned me about the whole coming-out to your school business. I should have read pamphlets. But why didn’t I?
Because, I didn’t come out at home. How stupid is that? I’ll tell the whole freaking school I like girls and boys, and not my own family? The answer lies in my father.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Dad. He’s wonderful, smart, funny, and we’re a lot alike. But he’s hard-core Catholic. I’m sure if he met someone gay on the street, he’d respect them. But I’m his daughter. I mean, if you’re reading this and you’re a teenager, what if your little sister came out? Your best friend admitted she had a crush on you? Some think that they don’t care from a distance. Most aren’t prejudiced in my town. But the honest ones admit that it would be weird.
I believe in God. I even wear a cross sometimes. The weight is somehow comforting.
But imagine if I told my priest I was bi. I couldn’t take Communion. I’d be whispered about in Church.
I’m not saying this to insult Catholicism. It does good. I even consider myself most of the time to belong to it. But it’s just disappointing that they don’t accept part of who I am.
Because if you can’t tell the truth to the ones you love, even if they guess, even if it’s an open secret, it’s hard.
But hey, I’m not sad. I have a good life. Being bi does not define me. I just wish the high school kids would stop thinking that anyone with less-than-straight inclinations is a hairdresser. Or that lesbians like sports and hate shoe shopping automatically. I’m sure some do. But I for one like clothes and shoe shopping. I love chocolate, I like chatting about boys and reading the occasional chick lit.
And guess what?
I also like girls.