“A simple comment that was probably meant as support or to make your friend seem more perceptive has sent you into a panic.”
It’s time. After years of trying to understand it yourself, months of hinting at it, and maybe too many jokes about Brie Larson stepping on you, you’ve finally made a comment that’s dismissed any doubt. Your friend finally asks:
“Are you…not straight?”
You give a noncommittal shrug of your shoulders and a small “yeah.” You’re still working on the “out” part of being bi, the “and proud” will come later, right?
“Ah, well I figured, haha.”
Wait wait wait.
“I mean, the way you talk about women made it obvious.”
Your heart stops and your mind starts to race. A simple comment that was probably meant as support or to make your friend seem more perceptive has sent you into a panic. Your parents don’t know yet and, honestly, you never plan on telling them. Now you wonder if they’ve figured it out too. Are you enough of an adult to survive being kicked out? Your credit card is still co-signed by your dad and you’ll need a place to stay after graduation. Will Grandma refuse to see you again? Should we place bets on if your uncle will disown you?
One deep breath later and you’ve recovered from that train of thought. You’ve hid it this far from yourself, if your family ever suspected it, you’ve denied it enough while you were questioning to assure them. But now another thought comes to you: if it was so obvious to your friend, why didn’t they tell you? Looking back, you could see slivers of the truth starting in high school. The urge to kiss your best friend should have clued you in, but it wasn’t time for you yet. You entered college, made new friends, and then started to struggle with yourself. Did you want to put up the poster of David Tennant or Gal Gadot in your dorm? Why were you so upset when two of your close friends started dating? And why were you jealous of both of them? You prayed for guidance, confused and unable to let anyone else see into your turmoil. You’d talk about how pretty another woman was, but you’d say it like your straight friends did. It was easier to express your interest in men and non-binary people if more accepting people were around, but that felt fake now knowing that there was more hiding inside you. Relief only came once another friend in a steady relationship found it in herself to express that she had come to terms with being bisexual.
It didn’t click immediately, but it broke a wall somewhere inside you that held your secret. You didn’t say it out loud at first, but slowly you found comfort thinking about it, turning the word over and over in your mind. The storm had finally started to calm, but it had done a number on you. There was plenty of guilt felt over your attraction that had only increased as you struggled to come to terms with it. The feeling that you were just a straight girl trying to be interesting still comes on strong when a crush on a woman fades. And there are the regrets that you didn’t give in to those teenage impulses that still stir up once in a while. So if it was so obvious to your friend, why didn’t she tell you earlier? It would have allowed you to work on these issues sooner, maybe find your place in the community and reach out for advice. You’d self-sabotaged potential relationships as you battled internally for understanding. Your friend just watched this happen, knowing the truth you needed and not thinking to reveal it to you.
Another deep breath. You know they’re just saying they knew. Maybe there was a suspicion, but until your confirmation they couldn’t be sure. It hurts that they put you through this panic and anger, but it wasn’t intentional. Now you know to never do the same to another. You’ll still struggle with these feelings for a while, it’ll potentially stop you from coming out to less close friends. But for now, at least you’ve started to open up. It took you too long to work it out, but you’re here now, navigating new waters. And while your friend may claim they already knew your sexuality before you did, it’s more important that you’ve finally figured it out.