I first realised I wasn’t straight when I was 13 years old. Pretty young right? I was in my first year of high school, surrounded by my peers who would obsess over the most popular boys in class. I’d laugh, I’d smile and overall I went along with it; paying little attention to the exact same thoughts I’d have about girls.
I pushed it to the back of my mind and carried on; trying to focus on getting rid of the acne that declared my forehead home. I dated a few boys throughout high school, as does everyone; mostly after being set up by peers who thought dating the hottest boy on the football team gave you some kind of celebrity status.
We were clueless. I didn’t know anything about LGBTQ. It was a mysterious, somewhat taboo topic that everyone seemed to avoid. Nobody spoke about it, school didn’t teach us about it and the online resources that are available today were non-existent. As time went on, I realised that I was attracted both boys and girls, and I accepted this.
Gradually, the attraction towards girls grew stronger but there was still something that drew me towards boys. I liked both. I’d heard of Bisexuality and I knew one girl in my year who came out as bisexual; she was really cool. I thought highly of her, having the confidence to do that so openly amongst people who had very little knowledge on the matter, if any at all.
I was attracted to her and I wanted to get to know her more… but I never did. I remember coming out to my closest friends as bisexual and nobody really cared. I liked that. As I began to feel more confident with who I was, I came out to my wider circle of friends… oh and my sister via a text message I sent by accident. I received a few raised eyebrows and self-doubt-inflicting questions from my peers at school, but I didn’t mind. I knew I was bisexual.
Say what you will about labels, but this is something I chose to give myself and proudly identified as for 3 years. After I turned 16, things changed. The popular girls who once dated the hottest boys in school were suddenly getting into serious relationships and so were the people I used to call my friends. We grew up. This made me realise I didn’t feel that way about boys anymore.
Yes I can appreciate a good looking guy, but there was no attraction there sexually. I liked girls. I kept this to myself for some time, only telling those closest to me; excluding my parents. In January 2017 I started seeing a girl I met online. We spoke via direct message for 3 weeks before meeting in person; although, the idea of telling my parents was far too daunting so I said I was meeting a new friend I made on Twitter.
After we met for a third time, my dad gave her a lift to the station; I knew he knew we were more than just friends. The awkwardness of the journey home was suddenly broken when my Dad said “Beth, I’m going to ask you a question now and I want you to be honest.” I knew what was coming. Out came the four words I’d been waiting to hear. I was relieved. Turns out both of my parents knew anyway! It felt so amazing to not have to hide it anymore; I could be me and no one cared. Several months later I broke up with the girl who boarded that train. Today, I’m the happiest and most comfortable in myself I’ve ever been with someone I’m glad to call my girlfriend.