• Bethany Spiby

Sexuality struggles..

Hi Beth, I've recently discovered that I'm bisexual but I'm afraid to tell anyone as I'm worried about what they will say. It making me feel like I shouldn't be the way I am.

I am extremely grateful that this question has appeared on my website because it has given me an opportunity to help other people in a similar circumstance and being part of the LGBT community myself, it is really close to home. Hopefully my "coming out" journey can inspire you to live your truth, be who you really are and find the strength to open up and communicate your feelings to those closest to you. I completely understand that the idea of openly talking about your sexuality and having to "come out" can be tremendously scary and unsettling, but unfortunately in a society which is programmed from a very young age to believe that the opposing sexes should be attracted to one another, coming out is just something we have to do, BUT it doesn't have to be as difficult as we allow our mind to believe. I have high hopes that this well articulated piece of advice that i am about to create for you, will give you peace of mind in knowing that you are not alone. This is more common than you think, and hopefully i can give you the confidence that you require to be who you are and be unapologetically unafraid to live your life as a bisexual individual, without a label being necessary.

My story...

Growing up, i was never really attracted to the male species. Of course, i can appreciate a good looking specimen, but i never felt the feelings that i assumed i was supposed to feel towards boys. For a very long time i would flirt with boys and pull them on nights out. (although i never slept with any of them) I did this because it was what i had been conditioned to believe was normal for a teenage girl. My friends were doing it and it was being talked about so casually that in some ways i felt pressured to fit in to the mould that i felt would push me into the most popular position amongst my peers in high school. I spent many years thinking that although i wasn't easily swooned by boys, 'the one' would come along and sweep me off my feet and i would fall in love with my idea of the perfect gentlemen. The thing is, i didn't really have an idea of a perfect gentlemen. I had never fantasied about being in a relationship with a guy and i'd never even looked in a males direction for more than three minutes without being bored. I was definitely a girls girl and i had always chose to spend my time around females because i found they were so much more easy to connect with. It wasn't till i was 18 that i opened myself up to fancying girls. I didn't know that fancying girls was an option! I didn't know of any other gay people and I wasn't exactly knowledgeable on the immensely large spectrum of sexuality that is in todays society. Having nobody to speak to about it was undoubtedly the most daunting aspect of the whole process for me. I had never been introduced to any part of the gay community before and i didn't realise how common it actually was. I just remember conversing with myself about three times over the period of one year, informing myself that i was a lesbian but then quickly following it up with, "No you are not." I was in denial, but i also didn't allow my confusion to consume me. I was still a very happy individual with minimal cares in the world and for me, it wasn't remotely important. I was very independent and being in no rush to find someone to settle down with, it wasn't something i needed to think about too much, therefore i didn't allow it to devour my thoughts. It wasn't until i moved abroad for the summer to do a season in Magaluf and i met a beautiful and charming girl who confirmed everything for me. From the second i saw her, i knew that she was my 'type,' and when we began flirting, i knew that the thoughts that i had pushed to the back of my brain previously, were all very genuine. Funnily enough, i wasn't scared. I was just happy to have finally felt a connection with someone on an intimate level for the first time in my life. My time on the Balearic islands formed a lot of firsts for me. My first kiss with a girl. My first kiss that i actually enjoyed. My first time involved in the exploration of a romantic relation. Although we were best friends above anything, my feelings for her were real and i can't thank her enough for allowing me to be my authentic self when i was in her company. She brought the confidence out in me that i had buried prior to our time together and taught me to not care what other people think. Living life with the mentality that 'what other people think of you is none of your business,' can really help one flourish. That mindset has made me do things that i would NOT have done if my focus was set on what other peoples attitude towards my actions were, so thank you, S. Thank you for teaching me that it's ok to sunbathe topless on the beach. Although short and sweet and a sour ending, you will always have the smallest little piece of my very big heart. SO... I had set up a life on the Magaluf island as a lesbian, but all my best friends and family at home were still completely unaware. The fact that i had to come out via the use of technology, didn't make the idea of it any less challenging. Eventually, after a few short months of living a double life, i plucked up the courage to tell my Mum. (I say plucked up the courage. I wasn't actually planning on coming out to her that particular evening, but the 29 jagerbombs, the excessive amount of shots and the free drinks from my works bar had slightly different ideas) I burst into tears on the phone and confessed to her that i was gay. Her response was admirable and what i can only wish upon everyone else going through the same issue. "Right ok. Why are you crying then?" Although i do know that the concept of her daughter not getting married and having children in a traditional manner was upsetting for her on a small scale, she was able to get over it quickly and reassure me that it was more than fine, it was in fact normal. Although some of my friends categorised me as 'weird' once i had told them, the majority of people didn't bat an eyelid, and now it is part of me. It is my identity and i am proud! Now, if i had the choice to be hetrosexual, i would even go as far as saying that i would kindly decline, as the connections i have the privilege of making with other beautiful females are so deep and loving, and the LGBTQ community is amazing, and something i am so grateful to be a part of.

Now you have heard my story, i hope that makes you feel slightly more content knowing that this is a struggle for copius amounts of individuals, more than you probably realise. Lets get to the important bit and delve deeper in to your journey. The main thing that i must stress is that your sexuality does not define you as a person, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with being attracted to the same gender as yourself. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. Generations are becoming more accepting and change is constantly being implicated in order for the stigma related to sexuality to be erased. Nevertheless, it is still going to be hard. My advice would be to open up to someone close to you. You may have fears that certain peoples opinion will alter regarding yourself when you tell them the truth, but more often than not you will be surprised by certain reactions as they are a lot more accepting than you originally anticipated. What i find occurs a lot is that people build up a really pessimistic idea of how people will react and treat them, when in reality it's a plain sailing situation. What i will say is... If someones has a negative reaction to you; if they change the way they approach you in the future; or if they have something bad to say about the situation, then they are not worthy or your time, energy, effort or friendship anyway! You do not need toxic individuals around you, whom aren't accepting of the fact that you are bisexual. These people are not your friends in the first place, and the only thing this does is allow you to become aware of whom you actually want in your life, who you need to erase from your radius and who you are forced to leave behind. A blessing in disguise.

There is absolutely no harm in exploring your sexuality either. In fact, i strongly recommend the exploration of different relationships with the varied genders. It can help you learn who you are and what you really want out of a relationship. Make an effort to meet like minded people, because it will make you aware that you are not and will never be alone. Although you are part of a minority and you may be reluctant to explore that part of you, the general consensus from society is that BEING GAY IS OK! :)

I want to touch on the comment you left about not wanting to be yourself. I am here to remind you that GOD spent a lot of energy and effort into forming you as an individual. Creating the PERFECT mould for you to come to Earth and the universe makes no mistakes. So be who you are and be proud of that, because you are worth it! Being yourself is the only option you have... Because if you aren't yourself, then who exactly are you?

Good luck with your coming out journey, everyones is different and unique, but you have the strength within to be who you are and i am here for you whenever you need me.

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