Surprise, I’m Bi!

Jul 9, 2021 | 2013 Spring - What Happens Next? Part 1

By Amanda Townsell

My freshman year of college is when my story begins. Deep down, I think I knew that I was attracted to girls as well as guys but I refused to admit it, even to myself. Plus, I grew up in a rather rural area where it was not okay to be gay in any form. So off I went to a private liberal arts college. I had a close female friend that I was crushing on so hard. One night, while we were hanging out, she confessed that she had a crush on me. We started dating and it went well, but I did not want to go public. The thought of telling my friends and family made me break out in a sweat. This led to a very short-lived relationship with hurt feelings on both sides. It made me realize that I needed to come out, but more importantly I needed to find a support system specifically for LGBT people.

I began by joining the LGBT group at my college. I was amazed to discover other people who were bisexual, but who also had different attractions than I did. I learned a lot about self-acceptance and defending myself to people when, for example, I dated a guy and people said that I did not seem gay anymore. I learned over the next few years that I would have to educate people on what bisexuality was for me and that it is not so black and white. I learned to navigate meeting new potential partners by letting them know that I was bisexual and what role that played in my life.

I also was in counseling for some family issues and had the wonderful fortune to work with a therapist who was in the LGBT community. She got me involved with local LGBT organizations and I expanded my circle of support even further. I also checked out every book from my local library that I could get my hands on to find out more information. I got a subscription to Curve, a lesbian magazine. I used the Internet to find forums, websites, blogs and authors. I found friends in the LGBT community who I could rely on for support and for advice with dating situations.

If you are in this situation and do not know where to turn, there are so many resources available: the Internet, books, podcasts, conferences, and groups in many major cities. The best advice I can give is to just be true to yourself and know that you are not alone. There is so much support waiting for you!

Amanda is a queer activist who likes to hula hoop, drink espresso, shoot photos, take her pups to the park, and have adventures.

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