Sunday, 9 October 2011

Coming to terms with my sexuality - twice

This post was inspired by a conversation I had last night with a Twitter friend who I started speaking to about Pretty Little Liars and Glee.

For those who don't know me, I'm an out bisexual woman. At least I am now. When I was 14 I knew I was interested in girls because I had the hugest crush on one of my best friends from secondary school. There was also Anna Nolan in the first series of Big Brother who was an inspiration.

I just didn't know if I liked exclusively women. Because there was also Xander in Buffy and Brad Pitt. I inched out of the closet after telling 3 of my friends I thought I was bi.

When I was 16 two things were going in my life:
  1. I ever so slightly illegally started going clubbing in my local gay scene.
  2. I started going to Alpha because quite a few of the members of my family had died recently so I sought out meaning in life.
In the gay scene I came across some quite derogatory remarks about bisexuals: they were greedy, they were confused, they couldn't be faithful or that they were just "in a phase". Suffice to say I didn't want to be seen as any of these things. However, I still had a massive crush on Brad Pitt which I couldn't just shrug off as me clinging to normality. Ironically it was at Alpha that in a conversation with one of my best friends at the time that I decided I was a lesbian with just one exception.

As it happened, the college's Christian Union invited speakers to the cafeteria one day. One question and answer stands out in my mind to this day:
Q: What does Christianity say about gay people?
A: There's only one cure to homosexuality and that's through Jesus Christ.
From this moment I knew I couldn't be a part of a religion who thought that homosexuality was something to be "cured". I was so proud of the fact that whereas most people going through Alpha seem to go from being agnostics to Christians I went from being agnostic to being an atheist. That's not my attitude about religion any more, as I've realised that although there are some stick-in-the-muds, the people who practice it can be as open and welcoming to gay people as atheists can. I am also back to being an agnostic (but that's a whole other story).

So, I started coming out to all my friends and my mother as a lesbian and it all went pretty well for about a year. I then kinda accidentally started making out with guys every now and then. When one of these guys was a friend of mine I ended up terribly confused again about my sexuality for the first time in two years. I really *liked* him but he was man shaped so, er, why would that be true. At that point I could have taken one of two paths, go for it with my friend (who was being terribly understanding considering) or swear off men completely. I chose the latter option. I was a lesbian, I'd decided that when I was 16 and anything else was just unacceptable.

A few months later I went to uni. I made out with a few girls in my first year but was never anything serious. I was quite active within the uni's LGB association [as it was at the time]. I was out as a lesbian but I still didn't make a secret of my attraction to Brad Pitt.

Despite my insistence to both myself and everyone around me that I was a lesbian this didn't stop crushes on a few guys from uni getting through.

Thanks to the relative [in comparison to my home town] acceptance of bisexuals within the LGB I slowly came to accept that it was OK to like both. Over the year, I went to the cinema with my uni friends a lot. One of these films was Troy. All my friends joked beforehand about how I'd stop them talking when Brad Pitt was on the screen (normally I'd be commenting with the rest of them). However, at the end, it wasn't Brad Pitt I was talking about, it was Eric Bana. One of my more observant friends noticed that this was a man who wasn't Brad. It was in May that I finally decided to tell people that I liked the men too. At first it was just my uni friends, who were all very supportive; I couldn't handle my mother getting all excited that I might bear her grandchildren after all. At the age of 19 I'd finally come to terms with my true sexuality.

I know it may seem silly that it was liking men that I seemed to have so much trouble accepting, but the fact was there weren't any positive bisexual role models in media to counteract the image of bisexuality that I got from my home town's scene. The only female characters who I saw on the screen at the time who were interested in men and women were of the depraved bisexual trope. Hardly people to look up to.

It's much better now, there is Angela from Bones, who although is now married to a man has had loving relationships with women in the past. Here, Heather Hogan praises Bones creator's crafting of the character.  There are also Myka and HG from Warehouse 13, although the creative team don't seem to want to admit it. Finally but not least, of course, there is Brittany from Glee whose sexuality I praised in my last post.

So, yes, had these characters been around 10 years ago, maybe I wouldn't have taken those three extra years coming to terms with my own sexuality. Who knows?


  1. Hi Vicky

    You're really good at blogging, thanks for sharing :)

    Hope you write more soon, I'd love a blog about the atheist / agnostic story...or on a lighter subject, an explanation of Glee, for those of us who don't have a tv and have somehow missed the phenomeon (yes, I know you're shocked and appalled at that revelation, sorry!)

    Anyway, I'll be following your blogging, so tap away! Christina x

  2. Hi Vicky!

    I've been reading your blog for quite a while. Thanks for this personal post. Sharing your experience and views here was interesting and insightful. Hope you'll do more of these.

    Great blog keep it up, well written and entertaining too; a great read!

    Best wishes,

    ??? :)

    P.s. Only just realised I can leave you comments! Look forward to your next post.

  3. Christina: Thanks! I'm not at all appalled by your revelation, merely see it as a challenge which I am willing to take on! I'll probably be doing a post about religious tolerance quite soon in my other blog which is likely to include more about my atheism/agnosticism over the years, I'll let you know when it's up.
    Other Anon: damn you for not telling me who you are :-p, I will work it out though! ;-). Thanks for your compliments though!

  4. You're welcome, Vicky!

    ??? :)