My name is Elizabeth, and I am a 15 year old bisexual girl. I’ve known since I was little, but I felt awkward, weird and wrong. There were also times I was confused. I didn’t know what bisexual was at that point, but I still wondered about my sexuality. I would ask myself if I was gay, and respond ‘no, I’m attracted to guys.’ I’d also ask if I was straight, and say ‘well I think so, but I like girls too…’ Ultimately I’d wind up even more confused. So I’d just bury the thoughts and feelings and try to forget about it. That would work for a while, but not long. It was even worse growing up in a Roman Catholic family and going to a private Roman Catholic school, where not only are homo- and bisexuality frowned upon, but any kind of nonconformity is looked at as wrong.
Problems at home made it all too much to bear. We were a family of 4 living off of one income with a disabled father and near-constant fighting between my parents and older brother. Seeing as my brother “caused all the problems” I was looked at as the “good child” and ignored. I had no one to talk to about my problems and internal struggles. I sat in my room with everything bottled up and read books.
In junior high, my brother went away to college, but I was still looked over. My dad’s physical condition grew worse and my parents fought more. As I went through puberty, I became even more aware of my different sexuality, but still felt wrong. That’s when all the bottled up stresses boiled over, and I started self-harming. I would cut, burn myself, snap rubber bands, and overuse painkillers. I dealt with depression, anxiety, and other mental issues, (I diagnosed myself, so no medication) and still do. More than once I contemplated suicide, and had a couple close calls.
The summer after 8th grade, I came out as bisexual to my best friend. She was more than supportive. I also told her about the self-harm, and she confided that she had as well.
Gradually, I told more and more people about my bisexuality, but not my family. I am now finishing 9th grade, have nearly quit self-harming, and am openly bi at school and to my friends. I havn’t told my parent, for fear of their disapproval (they’ve been pretty open about their feelings of homosexuality in the past, and I’m not sure how they’d handle it). I have told one member of my family though, my cousin Emily, and she’s been supportive.
Maybe I’ll come out to my parents as I get older, maybe not. I’m not sure. I want to, but I don’t know if it’s the right time. For now, I’m just taking it one step at a time and trying to deal with my problems in healthier ways.
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For most of us, our families provide the one place where we can be ourselves and know that we will be loved and accepted, no matter what. Our families are our support system, our source of strength, our home.