I don’t know when it started. It was probably sometime between getting my first crush on a boy in my fifth grade class and sitting on the floor in my living room with my mom, crying and admitting to her that I didn’t know whether I paid a lot of attention to other girls because I was comparing myself to them or because I was attracted to them. I do know that once I started noticing those feelings, I shoved them away in a panic. Just the thought that I might like other girls made me feel sick to my stomach with dread. At the time, it felt like I was standing at the edge of a cliff that dropped off to a bottomless black ocean, and if I pursued the issue further, I would fall in and start sinking. Logically, I knew it wasn’t actually wrong to be the way I was, but my emotions convinced me otherwise. Besides, how could I be sure I wasn’t just confused, that I really wasn’t straight all along? Out of an instinct for self-preservation, I turned away from it all, and hid that part of myself away for many years.

Then I went to college, and got a job back home over the summer. I started noticing that I was really happy whenever a particular girl was on my shift, and that I felt an inexplicable joy this time last year when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage.

When sophomore year started, it became harder and harder for me to ignore that my attraction other girls felt a lot like my attraction to boys. The thought of the implications of those feelings still left me feeling panicky, but I didn’t turn away this time. I reread old journal entries where I’d written, Am I bisexual? and tore through YouTube videos and blog posts from members of the LGBTQ+ community, mentally checking off time and again every time something felt like me. One day, it finally all clicked together. Every girl I had a crush on did not negate every boy I had a crush on. They both counted (as did any nonbinary people who fell in the mix). I was bisexual.

As you no doubt have realized by now, this is my coming out post. I am bisexual, and I want you to know it. Some people might say the label is not a big deal, and wonder why it’s necessary to devote a blog post to it. I could argue that this is my blog and I can do whatever I want, there’s the metaphorical Internet door, etc., but I want to explain further.

I’m writing this post because this blog is about my life and my thoughts, and I feel I cannot create an honest, complete picture of either of those without sharing this part of myself with you.

I’m writing this post because when I was still scared and questioning, my biggest comfort was seeing my queer friends, peers, blog writers, Tumblr users, YouTube personalities etc. acknowledging and accepting their identities. Seeing their examples helped me not only realize my identity is valid, but that it’s valuable. If I can contribute to that sense of community for anyone else by writing this, then of course I’m going to write it.

Finally, I’m writing this post because despite the growing acceptance and support for the LGBTQ+ community and its members, writing something like this is still a risk. I would say that I in particular will face no consequences from this, because I know I have loving friends and family who will respond to this positively. I would love to say that this post is a waste of my time, a formality. But that simply isn’t true. This post leaves me open to anything from erasure and discrimination from both the straight and LGBTQ+ communities to acts of violence against me, including, as we see often in the news, murder.

I was still rolling the word “bisexual” across my tongue and daydreaming about attending a Pride parade when I heard about the shooting in Orlando. There are still people out there who hate us, and act upon that hate with violence.

Yes, as a privileged, well-off, educated, cis white girl who more often than not passes as straight, it’s unlikely to say the least that I will face that kind of violence. But the truth of the matter is coming out is still a really dangerous action for people in this country and others. Acceptance isn’t as wide-spread as my personal experience would have me believe, but if my blogging about being bisexual at the risk of an angry Facebook comment from a distant family member or internet bully can do anything to make acceptance more common, to help more people come to the realization that LGBTQ+ people are people and need to be treated as such, then that’s why I’m writing this.

To my mom who probably knew about this before I did, to my friends who listened to me and told me they loved me and were proud of me, to the people who will never know that my feelings for them helped me discover myself, to the bloggers and educators and speakers who showed me bisexuality is real and important, to the people who may respond negatively to this and prove that there is work to be done and that my identity can be put to use as more than a boost in my own self esteem, thank you. Let’s see how we can all progress now that I’ve written this post.

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