When I was ten years old, a film franchise glossed our cinema screens and sent young girls into a whirlwind of emotion – I am of course talking about the Twilight Saga. Girls everywhere fell in love with the crappy love story of an emotionally unavailable high school girl, and her glittering vampire boyfriend. My friendship group went into a frenzy, and as time went on, it seemed as though everyone had one choice to make: Team Edward or Team Jacob. At the time, I felt compelled to chose Team Edward (obviously), because institutionalised heteronormativity (wow big words) was ingrained into me. So for years and years, I proclaimed my love for Edward and collected all sorts of Twilight memorabilia.
I never really had boyfriends when I was younger, and at the time this bothered me a great deal. In my head, a ginger girl with freckles and a gapped tooth (a lewk), was never going to win over an Edward-like boy. No matter how much I tried to mould myself into an attractive girl who could charm a boy, I remained single and upset.
And then came my teenage years (oh how I do not miss that time). When I got to 16 years old, I’d had a boyfriend or two (neither lasted very long) and I was starting to come into my own. I grew more confident, I was witty and I had long flowing Eve-like hair. Then BAM! Things began to stir in my head; questions with no answers, thoughts with no triggers, and why oh why was I thinking about girls? I started to question my sexuality, even crushing on a girl in my year. No one had ever told me about bisexuality, I had to read about it on the internet. I even did Kinsey-scale quizzes to try and decipher what was happening to me, until I came to the conclusion that yes – I was bisexual.
But that wasn’t the hardest bit. In my head I now had a firm grasp of who I was, but my friends and family didn’t know and so came one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever faced…coming out. After a few months of inner turmoil, I told my best friend at the time and she was brilliant, she asked a few questions but said that it didn’t bother her. Great! Yet, there was still the family to face. One day in September when I was 17, I went to my first Pride event in my hometown. I didn’t know what to expect, other than people like me wearing rainbow flags as capes. What I found was acceptance, and that made me feel incredible. The overwhelming happiness I felt at Pride helped me to come out to my family.
Coming out to my family was tough, and it took a few years for them to adjust. My parents are from a generation where not many people were openly gay or bisexual (and definitely not trans) for fear of discrimination and hatred. Luckily, it was at that time that I went to university, and enrolled myself into the LGBT+ Society there. Again, I felt nothing but acceptance, and it’s where I met my first girlfriend, who was so supportive and helped bridge the gap for my family to come to terms with my sexuality.
Now, I am 21 (gross), and my sexuality has now changed. Sexuality is a spectrum, it changes in the same way as how we, as people, change. I no longer identify as bisexual, instead now I am an openly lesbian woman (insert bisexual/lesbian joke here). My family now accept me, and though I am no longer with the aforementioned girlfriend, I have nonetheless found friendship in her and other LGBT+ people who have been so important to my journey. Happy Pride everyone!
If you are struggling to come to terms with your sexuality, or are questioning your sexuality, there are helplines you can call and websites you can visit on my Help page.
Featured Image Credit 📷: Juliette F