I began suspecting that I wasn’t completely straight pretty early on in my teenage years. I always thought girls were attractive, but pushed those thoughts down for a long time. I would tell myself that I just wished I looked like that girl or wanted to be like her. In truth, looking back, I probably wanted to be with her. My first kiss was with a girl when I was 15 years old. It was way before I ever kissed any boys. I still repressed my bisexuality due to a lack of confidence and fear of public perception. 

From what I had seen firsthand and in the media, it seemed like speaking my truth was a harder life. I didn’t want to have to deal with other people’s judgments or prejudices toward me.

Since I also liked boys, I focused primarily on that and ignored the feelings I experienced toward girls.

I don’t know how I didn’t recognize my bisexuality sooner.

For god’s sake, I preferred girl on girl porn! Part of me knew deep down, but didn’t want to say it aloud or think about it at all.

I didn’t want the people who had known me my whole life to look at me differently. When I was 14 years old, I vividly remember crying violently at night while thinking about my feelings.

Coming out was a daunting concept to me. I didn’t have many models of what bisexuality looked like in my day to day life, so I had no idea how to approach my feelings or confirm them.

There were only a handful of out people that I knew of. Throughout high school, I didn’t focus much on relationships. The crushes I had were always from afar. I picked unattainable people purposefully, so that nothing would ever happen.

I focused the majority of my attention on academics. However, come college my mindset shifted.

When I started college in DC, I grew a lot as a person through being exposed to city life and a wider variety of people. It was a change from the more sheltered, suburban Connecticut community where I grew up. Getting to meet people from different parts of the world and upbringings opened my eyes and helped me discover myself.

I credit the friends I made in college immensely with helping me admit I was bisexual and find the courage to come out. A good handful of people within my larger friend group are a part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Hearing them talk about gay rights openly and seeing how confident they were in themselves made me feel comfortable enough to talk about my sexuality. My close friends were the first people I told about my bisexuality. 

I came out officially to my family about a year ago, when I was 20 years old. It was during a family beach vacation the summer after my junior year of college.

I came out to my sister first during that vacation, since we have always been super close. I also learned one of my cousins was bisexual during that trip.

The combination of these factors encouraged me to tell my mom, dad, and brother that I liked boys and girls. The relief I felt saying it aloud to others was immense. I felt so lucky also that they responded very positively. Everyone basically said, “cool, good to know. Thanks for telling me.” I couldn’t have asked for my coming out to go any more smoothly.

During the time that I came to terms with being bisexual, I was actually in a relationship with a man. I am still with him to this day. I feel extremely blessed that he was so supportive of me coming out.

He accepted me fully, rather than feeling threatened or insecure as a result of my sexuality. Being honest with him about something so personal made me feel even closer to him. Coming out to him only strengthened our communication and trust of one another.

I know not everyone is as lucky with their coming out experiences. It pains me that people stay closeted and hide their sexuality for fear of what others will think or how they will react.

Additionally, some people never get the opportunity to come out due to cultural, religious, or personal reasons. As a result, I recognize how privileged my coming out experience was.

My family and friends’ perceptions of me haven’t changed. However, not everyone I meet is as accepting. Bisexuality can come with a lot of stigma. Some people claim bisexuals are less faithful, can’t pick a side, are confused, are just gay, or are merely experimenting. None of those stereotypes ring true. They can be hurtful and demeaning nonetheless.

If I have learned anything since coming out, it’s that there’s no one way to be gay. You don’t have to conform to what people think your sexuality should look like.

Dress how you want.

Act how you want.

You are your own multifaceted person, so no one has the right to try and box you in.

I feel more at home with myself than I ever have since I came out. It is freeing to allow people to see you and know you.

You are perfect as you are. Be confident in that. It’s not a phase. 

  • Maggie Mahoney

    Maggie Mahoney is an editorial fellow based in Washington D.C. She is a soon to be graduating senior at American University studying Literature with a minor in Communications. Maggie is passionate about poetry, elementary education, blogging, and R&B music. She loves to cook and try new cuisines and considers herself a textbook Virgo.