Everyone’s experience is different, but I knew I was bisexual from an early age. I just didn’t have the vocabulary to explain the identity.
I was kind of a boy-chasing little kid. I ran after them on the playground, I got in trouble for kissing them, and crushed hard. People would ask me which boys I liked and I always had a running list. It was different with girls, though.
No one ever asked me which girls I liked. It probably never even crossed their minds. With girls, I was more shy. These crushes manifested as close friendships. I didn’t really know how to explain my feelings. The people I knew were in m/f marriages or relationships. I didn’t know there was any other way.
In middle school, I started to realize there was something different about me. On the bus, I couldn’t help but stare at certain girls as they moved past me. I knew what a lesbian was but I also knew that didn’t quite fit me. That didn’t stop other kids from calling me Lesbo or twisting my nickname (Liz, which they made sound like “Les”). They knew I was different, too, and they punished me for it.
It wasn’t until high school that I found my people and my identity. Two friends of mine came out. They announced that they were bisexual and dating, and it kicked off a whole LGBT+ movement in my school. Suddenly there was a word to describe a part of who I was, and I had a safe place where it was okay to be me.
I’ve been bi my whole life. I’ll always be bi. Whether I’m in a relationship with another woman, single, or married to a guy with a lot of facial hair… I’ll still be bisexual.
I’m proud of all of the parts that make up who I am. It hasn’t been easy, being queer—or me in general, to be honest—but I now have a pride that no one can take from me.