I was asked recently when I knew I was bisexual.
It seems like such a silly question to me because being bisexual is just a part of who I am, my being. I never think about when I really “knew.” I’ve always known I’ve had similar feelings for more than just one gender. I never felt out of place about my sexuality until labeling began and I had to “pick one” because I was 12 and didn’t have the language for what I was feeling. “I can’t be both a lesbian and be straight,” I thought to myself. I remember crying myself to sleep one night because I felt so torn and so confused.
What was I feeling? Why couldn’t I like both?
I realized that I had a label for my feelings one school night when I was in 7th grade, probably around 11 pm, watching VH1. Some TV documentary came on about husbands and wives going on vacation to ~explore~ the wives’ desires to be with women while they watched. Yeah, I know, not the best representation of bisexuality but it's all I had when I was 12. I don’t remember how they used the word bisexual, but I knew that I finally figured out what I was feeling. I felt liberated to know that I wasn’t alone and weird - that I didn’t have to choose one.
I’ve been going back and forth over the years from being bisexual, pansexual, to not having a label and then identifying as queer. I still identify with multiple labels, but always come back to being bi regardless because I feel like it is the most widely understood. People choose not to label themselves as bi because of negative stereotypes from being greedy, to it seeming transphobic - because people are still saying bi means attraction to two genders. (It’s been agreed throughout the bi community that bisexual means attraction to same and other genders). OR! It just doesn’t feel right for them. I respect people for whatever labels they choose for themselves but I love being bisexual—I love being me!
Madie is finishing her AA at Palm Beach State College and plans to major in Sociology at FAU. She advocates within the Palm Beach Youth Leadership Council for accurate, LGBT-inclusive, comprehensive sex education. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and art in its many forms.
Learn more about bisexuality: