Disney Channel Presents: Bisexual Awakenings

Mar 1, 2024 | 2024 Spring - Letters to Myself

By Felicia Fitzpatrick

Dear 11-year-old Felicia,

You need to write a thank-you note to Disney. They have gifted you several bisexual awakenings, even though you don’t realize it at the moment.

Like, you have a crush on Alyson Stoner. Yes, you just had a dream that you kissed her on-air brother, Mike, from Mike’s Super Short Show, but you also have a crush on her. That’s because you’re bisexual. Welcome! Here is your complimentary leather jacket. Trust me, you’ll need it.

Mike, with his cute, spiky blonde hair, seems like the obvious crush choice because he looks like the boys you go to school with in the very white Pacific Northwest. Plus, Alyson is kind of annoying, right? I know how you roll your eyes at her. It’s because you’re intimidated by, jealous of, and attracted to her. You’re intimidated by the fact that she’s a good dancer (dancing has always been your thing, and you can be a bit competitive). You’re jealous that she got to be in Missy Elliot’s “Work It” music video. And you’re attracted to her tomboy style, especially in Cheaper by the Dozen, and I understand how that can feel overwhelming to you.

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise since tomboy girls on the Disney Channel are kinda your thing. Your obsession with the Disney Channel Original Movie Motocrossed? Let’s just say it’s not because you think it would be fun to ride dirt bikes. (You’ll try riding an ATV years later because of the movie, and you won’t be great at it.) You know how you look forward to the scene where Andrea’s new look of short hair and a backwards baseball hat is revealed? Or how her flirty montage with Dean (played by the dreamy, vocal fry king, Riley Smith) gives you butterflies? That’s because you’re bisexual. Again, welcome!

Or how about Gabriella (played by Christina Vidal) in the DCOM Brink!? She is the essence of cool, right? Her impressive skating skills! Her Cali chill vibes! Her overalls! Her scenes make your eyes light up because—say it with me: You’re bisexual! It’s like you want to be her, but you also want to be with her. Don’t worry; it’s a thing for a lot of queer people.

Your epiphany that you’re bisexual will come in college during a theater history course, when you learn about the Genderbread Person. You’ll realize that you’re attracted to traditionally masculine gender expression, but that you’re open to all gender identities. You’ll be attracted to people of all gender identities and expressions as you come out and come of age, which, as you find what feels most comfortable to you, will over the years  lead to you identifying as both pansexual and bisexual. Just like Disney’s tomboy girl characters, people who blend masculine and feminine, who exist in the in-between, are the ones you feel a strong connection to—it’s no wonder your pop culture crushes are now Janelle Monáe and Betty Who. Your girlfriend (yes, believe it!) exists there, and she has so much tomboy girl swag, she’s basically a Disney Channel crush dream come true.

That’s because you live in the in-between.

Being biracial, you’re used to feeling the duality. You’re used to feeling split. You’re used to feeling like you’re not enough for either of the racial groups you belong to—Black and White. You’ll feel embarrassed when you don’t know pop culture references from the iconic 1990s Black rom-coms. You’ll chase Hilary Duff-inspired hairstyles that your natural curls can’t easily be configured into. And please, just skip the whole phase of trying to fit into Hollister jeans in high school—they are meant for girls without curves. The dressing rooms are too damn dark for you to be hopping around trying to pull them up over your hips and butt.

You’re used to pulling out your ruler to see how you measure up to your own identities. In a way, it honestly makes sense that you would identify as bisexual too. It’s another identity in which you overlap two groups and feel obligated to try and bridge the gap.

You’ll feel guilty when your queer friends talk about their queer romantic firsts, and you think about how you got to enjoy romantic firsts twice-over. You’ll feel like an intruding visitor when you go to bars that cater to gay men with your gay male friends, since you read as straight. It’s a privilege that you acknowledge, knowing how much homophobic violence there is in the world, but still you can’t help but feel isolated even when fully immersed in a room of people who are supposed to be your community.

The balancing act of both of these identities will feel harder some days than others. Though our identities are ours to define, I totally get that it feels like they are at the mercy of others’ perceptions. It’s something you’re still working on, even 20 years from now. The days you feel secure in your identity will be amazing—you’ll feel whole, complete, and abundant. On the worst days, you’ll feel like a body of contradictions. The best advice I can give is to surround yourself with people who love you for all of the identities you inhabit, because they’ll be beside you on your good and bad days.

As I look back on our bisexual journey, even with the ups and downs, the liberation and joy we’ve felt since coming out has been so worth it. So, throw on that leather jacket, kiss your girlfriend, grab a piece of paper, and write that thank-you note to Disney.


32-year-old Felicia

Felicia Fitzpatrick (she/her) is a NYC-based writer and content creator. When she’s not writing, you can find her taking dance classes at Alvin Ailey, rewatchingGilmore Girls, or wishing for The Cheesecake Factory to open in Manhattan.

Featured Image Credit: Michael Kushn

Related Articles

Dear You: lose

By Nicole Miyashiro Lose people/ who were never there, lose/ the lies, illusions, truth-fearing/ friends?/ lose the one you don’t need/ to be anymore/ lose/ the voice distorting/ what to believe, believe/ your loss/ the you, lost in who others/ want you/ to be, be...

read more
Follow us on Social Media