On Thursday, October 11, I decided to share a little secret.
Yep, I like both boys and girls! That’s all! Thanks for coming!
I wish it was that simple for everyone.
Growing up homeschooled in the middle of nowhere, I didn’t know many other kids, other than my baby cousins. I watched plenty of sappy romantic comedy movies with my mom to understand the concept of straight romantic love: it was something beautiful that I would probably want when I was older.
I learned about the birds and the bees when I was 11, reading one of those big fancy science books, and was, to be honest, a little disappointed to find out that was how it all worked. I understood it was necessary for the world to go round, but it just didn’t seem romantic to me, and my mom told me it’d make sense when I was 30.
My first crush happened at 12, on a 20-year-old male figure skater – mostly because of his beaming personality and warm smile, which I interpreted as “cute”. It was an innocent, normal case of childish sheep’s eyes.
But things got very complicated soon after. I started to notice the very beautiful female skaters. At first I called them my “girl crushes” – the word straight girls use for pretty females they admire, even though they don’t intend on dating them. But as I grew older and hormones kicked in, I definitely knew something was up.
I knew that there were gay people in the world, but I couldn’t call myself a lesbian if I still liked guys, right? I had never even heard the word bisexual until I was 13, and at the time I thought it meant someone who dressed as both genders 🙈
When I discovered its correct meaning, I thought, “Wait, is that me?” But I didn’t know for sure. First of all, I am not strongly attracted to men. I definitely think some men are handsome, sweet husband material, but I don’t have that overwhelming sexual attraction to them. On the other hand, there are a few ladies I definitely see as sexy, but I’ve never dated a girl before and I’m not sure how far I would go. A bi friend of mine recently explained that bisexual just means you’re attracted to both males and females, and at this age it’s perfectly normal (and advisable!) not to be interested in “the facts of life” yet. I might grow into it, like Mama always said, or I might be biromantic – attracted to both sexes and craving a close relationship like a marriage, but not necessarily a sexual relationship. As of now, I honestly don’t know, and I’m okay with that. I’m just going to take this one day at a time.
I started strongly suspecting I was bi in March of this year, and I admitted it to myself during the summer. One of my sweet Twitter friends, who has been openly gay for many years, called it “coming out to yourself”. It was a bit of a shock to me; I had always seen LGBT people as a group I accepted, but didn’t belong to. But once I had figured out where I stood, I could start my journey of telling others.
A huge factor in my coming out story is a Twitter friend I met several months ago. She was in her early 20s, but she was finally starting to accept she was bi. I told her something like, “it’s something I’ve wondered about myself tbh” and after a while I started to tell her my story.
After I had told her, I decided I would tell my straight friends soon. I was sitting on it for a while, trying to come up with the best time to casually bring it up. But then I saw that National Coming Out Day was coming up and I thought on a whim, “No better time than the present!”
Was I scared? YES! But I reminded myself of all the people who inspired me – Eric Radford, my first LGBT role model; Adam Rippon, who represented both the Stars and Stripes and the rainbow with style this Olympics; Karina Manta, a Team USA ice dancer who came out as bisexual less than two weeks ago; and all the people – heterosexual or otherwise – who are just fearlessly themselves. And I want to be one of those people who share their whole self with the world. In the words of John Legend, “I give you all of me.”
My mom has always been my biggest supporter. She has practically raised me on her own, homeschooled me for over a decade, and been there through every problem I’ve ever had in my life. Since she knows literally everything about me and we talk all the time, it really wasn’t the big scary conversation I imagined it would be. She said she guessed there had been something going on for a while, and I’d tell her when I was ready. I’m still trying to explain all the details, but so far so good.
After we talked, I logged onto Twitter to come out to my online friends. Many of them were utterly shocked because I had never even hinted at being bi. I hadn’t even told my very closest friends – girls I chat with on a daily basis about literally EVERYTHING. It wasn’t that I was afraid to tell them; I just wanted to make sure I was 100% bi before I shouted it from the rooftops.
They all accepted me so warmly, I cannot even describe it. Twitter people I know only casually were quick to give me a “good for you!” or “you’re so brave to share your story, of course we will support you!”. One of the most beautiful things about the figure skating community is how LGBT-friendly they are. This is how the rest of the world should be.
I was a bit worried that one of my friends, who is a devout Christian, wouldn’t understand. I even sent her a long dm trying to explain what it all meant. And she replied, “I’m not gonna lie…I am a little shocked. But this doesn’t change how I feel about you. I still love you like a sister and I’ll always be one of your best friends!” That was one of the most satisfying moments in this little journey.
So far, I’ve gotten nothing but positive feedback. I know there will be haters – there always are – but I am proud of who I am, and I have an army of people who support me.
The truth is, many young LGBT people can’t just tell their parents without fear or disapproval or even disownment, and the public is another story altogether. I feel so blessed to have a mom who understands that a person is so much more than a sexual orientation. To all of you who are not in a position where you can come out yet, hold on. I don’t know if y’all are religious, but I believe God made us exactly the way He wanted us to be for a reason.
I’m also thankful I can’t say I ever experienced the “long years in the closet” most people describe. I’ve heard so many people who know they are LGBT from as young as 5 years old, and don’t come out until adulthood. Since I didn’t even know I was bi until I was a teen and didn’t confirm it until earlier this year, there were honestly only a few months where I felt like I couldn’t share that part of me, as well as about two years where I was just plain confused. It’s pretty hard to hide something in a closet when you don’t even know what you’re trying to put in there. For me, it’s not really “coming out”, it’s “making a discovery and sharing it with the world”.
I haven’t told my whole family, like my more traditional grandparents. And that’s okay with me. I’m not in a rush to tell everyone. If I’m in a serious relationship with a woman and I’m bringing her to meet the in-laws, then of course I’ll tell them. But while I’m young and single, I don’t see why they need to know about it. It’s not because I’m ashamed of who I am; it’s because it’s really none of their business 😉 Right now, telling my mom is enough.
And that’s it. I’m out, I’m proud, I’m happy. This is not the only thing that makes me who I am. I am a writer, a student, a crazy figure skating fan, an artist, and just a girl who is about to celebrate her 16th birthday next month. I’m just glad I will be able to start my dating life knowing exactly where I stand, and I hope to eventually meet that special someone who takes my breath away.
This was a long and probably very confusing post, so feel free to ask questions if you’re unclear on anything! Love you guys! 😘