Let’s take ourselves back to 2012, I was 14 & was super confused to why I didn’t want a relationship with a guy. All of my friends at the time were in relationships or ‘talking’ to guys, yet I was doing the opposite.
I was working out my sexuality around this time and I quickly realised that I was different. I didn’t know why or how, I just knew I didn’t fancy guys as much as my mates did. When all the pieces were coming together & I realised that I could fancy girls, an intense sense of guilt and embarrassment hit me.
I felt embarrassed that I didn’t fit into the Norm. So what did I do? I tried to ignore it, I didn’t want to be different, I wanted to fit in. So I pretended that I didn’t have these feelings & suppressed them for years.
Fast forward to 2015 & I had several boyfriends which just didn’t work out. I started to realise what I felt all those years ago is very real & I should really listen to my heart. So that’s exactly what I did, I stopped trying to suppress my feelings.
With this came many different problems, I realised that I identified as bisexual which explained my mixed emotions. But what it didn’t explain is why I didn’t feel anything romantically towards previous boyfriends, I thought it was me & I was just strange. Turns out I am strange, but it just came down to I wasn’t in love with them, simple… right?
After many months of long sleepless nights, I had figured out my sexuality & the reasoning behind why past relationships didn’t work. What was next, is more than likely the hardest part of my journey.
I had to accept my sexuality & be proud of who I am.
It sounds so easy, but it was the worst time of my life. Being extremely embarrassed & ashamed of yourself is a horrible feeling. I didn’t like who I was, I didn’t want to be bisexual because of what people might say & i certainly didn’t want to share with anyone that I was bisexual.
So, I tried to keep it a secret for as long as possible. But one day I got so down about it, I cracked & told one of my closest friends that ‘I didn’t think I was fully straight’… Which is one way to put it. From this day, everything happened so quickly. I got a girlfriend, my family knew, more & more people started to find out.
And yet, I was still so so so embarrassed of my relationship & sexuality. I felt like it should be a secret & I didn’t want anyone to know about it. Yet everyone did & I hated that it was out & people knew what I was.
How do you expect people to accept you, when you don’t accept yourself?
Whilst this is going on, I had (& still do) an amazing girlfriend who wanted to show off our relationship, but I didn’t want to. I wasn’t ashamed of her or us, I was ashamed of me & didn’t want people to see me with a girl… when they already knew I was. Not only was I hurting myself, it was hurting the ones who mattered the most to me.
I can’t exactly pin point a moment when i thought ‘f*ck it’ , but I stopped caring what people thought of me. I didn’t care what people said because whatever they said, it didn’t matter. If you let words hurt you, then you will forever be in pain.
From this moment, when I stopped caring what others thought, when I really couldn’t care what people had to say, I started to embrace being bisexual. I started to show my relationship off & I started to become a lot more confident in myself. People are always going to judge & bitch about you, it’s life. You can’t stop people talking, so if they’re going to talk about you, why not let them bitch about you being happy & your true self.
I think over time, I learnt that being bisexual is who I am. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it makes me unique. As I’ve grown up, I’ve seen that your sexuality doesn’t define you, you make this life what you want it to be. The time I spent upset about my sexuality is time I can’t get back, but I can start today & live my life how I intend to.
So the big question is, am I proud of my sexuality?
Hell yes, I’ve learnt to embrace & love who I truly am. It’s been a long & daunting process, but I’m finally there. I can safely say that I am a proud bisexual. It’s taken many years, many tears & many sleepless nights.
But there is always light at the end of the tunnel, you just can’t give up when life is so precious. I’ve met an amazing person who makes me extremely happy, which happens to be a woman.
Understanding who you are is daunting for everyone whether LGBTQ+ or not. Let yourself grow & be patient, it’s worth the wait.
Charlotte – Unite UK.