Editor’s Note: The following submission is from Yvonne Staton. Have an LGBTQ+ related experience or story to share? Having your article published on this site will automatically enrol you into a raffle to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Submit an article today via queerdeermedia.com.
[amazon_link asins=’B01M9H4XV2′ template=’ProductAdRight’ store=’ourqueerstories-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’18e801d3-8cb0-11e7-8e0b-1d5fcb165f0c’]In elementary school I was made fun of because I was different. I liked to play sports with the boys, act like them and even dress like them.
Then, everyone is starting to think about boyfriends and girlfriends, and it seems so important. You know, when you get to around 5th grade? All the girls gossip about the cutest boys and the boys talk about the prettiest girls. Of course, I was attracted to boys and wanted a boyfriend too.
But, for me there was something different. I felt attracted to women too. I couldn’t talk about it, because that was weird and outside the norm. For the longest time, I was in denial. I didn’t know there was a name for it, I didn’t even understand or know about other sexualities fully until 8th grade. The only reason for that was because my best friend was bi. Even then, I didn’t know anything about it or even that the LGBTQ community existed. The school systems never taught anything either.
I continued this aggressive denial through middle school. I didn’t want to think I was LGBTQ, but secretly I knew there was something.
I got through high school somehow. I began to have anxiety my senior year after ending my almost 3 year relationship. Consequently, with a guy who was very anti gay.
All of a sudden, after we broke up I realized that I didn’t know my sexuality. Any hope of figuring it out had been suppressed for so long.
I went to college, and my freshman year was pretty rough. I still felt I was in denial, and I didn’t want to talk about sexuality. I got to sophomore year and I was beginning to realize who I wanted to be, and how to get there. I knew I was not straight, but what?
I got into a relationship October of my junior year. I thought it was great. In the end, it turned out to be emotionally abusive. Again, my search to find myself took aback seat. However, the funny thing is, during that relationship I found the words to describe my sexuality.
He didn’t really want me to be that. And I knew my entire family would disapprove heavily, all of them being conservative or religious. I felt like a rebel in my own life. Eventually I made the decision to learn to stand my ground. So, I came out only to close friends. After that, I finally found my sense and got bored of the torture he put me through. I needed to do something, so I ended it in order to find myself. But the pain continued. Only about 7 months ago in September did I finally become free after almost a year of being crushed.
I started to come into myself after that. I knew I could be whoever I needed to be, whoever I wanted. But, I still felt unsure and uncomfortable about this new sexuality I had found. I couldn’t talk about it and kept thinking to myself “is this really what I am?” Part of the reason it was so hard, on top of all that, was my family. As I said before, I had grown up with a conservative environment. They would not be happy. I decided not to tell them, and I still have not. That is still something that is troubling, but I have gotten used to it and I know it is the best thing for me and my life.
Anyways, I found a girl on tinder because I wanted to test it. I needed to know for absolute sure. I’m sure you can guess, after we met I was 100% sure. After that instance, I was so much more comfortable talking about and advocating for LGBTQ rights and my own experiences. I came out to other friends, and I could talk openly about bisexuality.
Finally I had a sexual identity.
I knew who I wanted to be.
My opinions, experiences everything was valid. It wasn’t just in my head anymore.
Today, I still struggle very much with the lasting effects of an anxiety disorder that is partially related to the long search for my identity. But that hasn’t stopped me. I have a wonderful boyfriend who is actually supportive and loving. I have friends who keep me grounded and accept me for me.
The key, I found, is to have people that accept you and want you to be happy. People who love you the way you were made to be loved.
It’s been a long road, and I have a long way to go but I’m still moving forward. I have found myself and I’m still working on making sure that I am the best version of myself possible. I’m bisexual and I’m proud.