The idea of coming out always appalled me, and it was not because I was scared of social perceptions but because I didn’t find myself in a position where I was accepting of myself. I pushed aside any thoughts regarding the crisis of my sexuality as “influence” or “mere thoughts of an imaginative overthinking mind.” I had celebrity crushes, but a significant portion of my high school was heterosexual people saying, “I’d turn gay for her/him/them,” referring to any celebrity/influencer they came across. Naturally, I believed I was a part of this herd who just had “celebrity crushes” owing to the celebrities’ picture-perfect stellar public image.
I thrived in denial until 10th grade. I had a friend, and we were close. It was after two years of knowing her that I realized my emotions for her were romantically inclined. How did I know? Well, just like you would. I got fidgety or nervous around her, tried finding every opportunity to talk to her or meet her. Now that I think about it, it sounds cheesy. But I read somewhere that one’s first crush is always special. Okay, fine, maybe the quote was “first love is always special.” but I’ll modify it for the sake of this writing piece. (It’s called creative license, cut me some slack, will you?) I skipped the butterflies in the stomach part.
Now, this is not my first heartbreak. I never told anyone about it because I wasn’t gutsy enough to do it. Beyond that, I was a bundle of contradictions ( Observe a 2 minute silence for Anne frank, please. ) I didn’t want to believe that I was different from the people around me. Everyone I knew was straight, and I was nothing less than terrified. It was around then that a guy asked me out, and to feel like a part of the dominating herd, I said yes. Vile on my part? I agree, but I did like him to an extent. I am going to hell for this. Wait. I am going to hell anyway. ( This got sad real fast. )
I changed school the year after, and this entire turmoil of figuring out my identity and adapting to my surroundings had me spiraling downwards. In Taylor Swift’s words,”I fell from the pedestal, Right down the rabbit hole. Long story short, it was a bad time.” Let’s not dwell on that. We can leave that for the mental health awareness month or just read my poems. They are quite descriptive of the situation. ( My Instagram account is @caravanofrumination. I am not sure if this promotion is allowed. Okay I was told it’s not allowed, but I am doing it anyway hehe. )
After a tea worthy 10th and early 11th, the rest of my high school years were blank. That sounds a little dramatic, but school work took away my time. I found my distraction and got carried away with it. That’s not aptly right, though. Every alternate day I’d find myself on google, rummaging through personal blogs of lgbtqia+ members. I was in the uncharted territory of bi-curiosity, and it was killing me. The other Cheshire cats grinned during this downfall by calling it a ‘phase’ or ‘invalid thoughts which clouded my rational judgement.’ To all the Cheshire cats reading this, I hope you have a terrible day (and life).
By the end of 12th grade, when God gifted us with this never-ending lockdown, I decided to open a bumble account. What is an individual supposed to do in boredom and loneliness? I am almost sure there was a point when you were on the verge of opening an account yourself. The reason I mentioned this is because dating apps have played a significant part in my journey. I finally got to connect with people from the community and learn from their individual stories as well. Days turned into months, and before I knew it, I was in an exclusive relationship with a girl who identified as pansexual. I won’t stress about that. It’s too personal for my liking, but she single-handedly gets credit for giving me enough strength to come to terms with my sexuality. If you are reading this, you know who you are. Telling my close friends about my sexuality was never really a problem. The response was surprisingly pleasant. Stereotypical statements like, ” I’ve always wanted a bi friend.” or “How were you sure?” initially popped up, and I could never distinctly answer the latter. Then again, these were a group of 4-5 people.
This story does sound all rainbow and unicorns with accepting friends and a toxic-free surrounding. But some members of the community would agree that a significant portion of the problem lies in self-acceptance. While I had come to terms with being bisexual, my presence started bothering me. Ask a straight person what their idea of a bisexual is, and they’ll probably give you the image of a pixie cut emo/goth or some made-in-the-air visual. I started considering chopping off my hair to fit in/merge within the community. I wanted to change my style, and looking back, it is embarrassing that having come to terms with my sexuality, I had still not drawn the line of difference between that and appearance, or rather the way I express my body and sexuality. I was trying to fit in and was willing to do the same at the cost of my personal identity. I don’t have to be a tomboy to be bisexual. It is mockable when I think about it now. But from a perspective back then, I was trying to mold myself to satisfy “stereotypes.”
It’s not that I’ve never tried coming out publicly. I had a rainbow emoji on my Instagram bio, but when asked why I do, I would shy away and respond with a casual “oh, i am supporting the community.” But if this part of me is not embraced or made public, I as a person would remain incomplete. Having said so, it is one’s personal choice to disclose their sexuality. For me, I have wanted to do so for a while now.
Also, can I add that I hate maths and love art, especially poetry? I also like cats. I know what you are thinking now. Don’t let your mind compel you to tell me, ” It is obvious, anjali. It is obvious.” because that would beat the point of this entire piece. These are some stereotypical claims I coincidentally fulfill. But what does this thousand-word writing try to convey?
I am bisexual, and as a community member, I shouldn’t have to justify my sexuality or morph into existing stereotypes to fit in.
*drumroll* STORY TIME (when someone thought/i think they thought I was homophobic):
Okay, so what happened is that I joined a literary club, and we were supposed to respond to a chat on WhatsApp with a satanic emoji. My half-rotten brain cells responded with the pride flag but forgot to put it in quotes(which would denote sarcasm). One of the seniors then messaged me, telling me that it is offensive if not satirical. I’d want the senior to know that I could never mean it. I forgot the damn quotes.
The Damn quotes.