“Tell me everything,” my sister said to me over plates of Chinese takeaway. “I want details.”
“Well, there’s not much to say,” I replied after I finished chewing a mouthful of scalding hot tofu. “I told mom that I was bisexual, and she seemed to take it well.”
I never had crushes on anyone while growing up. The small conservative town I grew up in boasted few options for a young feminist hell-bent on growing up and moving away to a larger city. However, over time, I had come to the realization that I may not be like the other girls in my class.
“I think I might be a lesbian,” I said while leaning over to my best friend. We were on the playground, but I was thinking seriously about my life and about who I was as a person.
“I don’t think so Jas,” my friend said. “You thought that boy was cute for a while. You might be confusing liking girls for wanting to be like them?” She knew about gay people and had no problem with it, but she also knew about the one guy I had a crush on when we were twelve.
“I don’t know, maybe you’re right,” I responded still unconvinced.
I didn’t know at the time that anyone was allowed to like more than one gender, and growing up in a Catholic school most of my life and then heading off to a Christian high school didn’t help with my lack of LGBTQ education. I spent the rest of high school occasionally convinced that I was straight until my senior year.
“What is bisexual?” I asked some of my friends who sat around the lone tree in between the cafeteria and science building. I had only heard the word that same day being brought up in conversation. They gave me an explanation, but a reaction from someone else in the group about bisexuals being “greedy” kept me quiet. I thought to myself, maybe that sexuality isn’t supposed to exist?
It wasn’t until the interaction of the eye-opening melting pot of interesting and intelligent people in college during my Freshman year that I revisited the label. I read the definition aloud, “adjective: sexually attracted not exclusively to people of one particular gender.” I let the sentence settle in before the thought rang through my head. I think the term, bisexual, makes sense.
I ended up using the web and lived on the online Tumblr platform in its infancy to learn more about the LGBTQ community. I met new queer people and ended up making some pretty amazing friends before becoming the Editorial Manager of the queer online magazine, Q26.
I never specifically spoke about my sexuality or any other personal attributes to the majority of people. I never thought it was a big deal until I saw so many family and friends who were too afraid to come out of the closet for fear of being kicked out of their homes or looked at differently. I remembered Ellen Page’s own coming out story about “lying by omission,” and planned for years to tell my parents in the perfect moment. I over-planned how I would tell them because I admire the two of them so much and subconsciously didn’t want to let them down even though I knew for a fact that they are some of the most understanding, kind, and encouraging parents in the universe. After years of waiting for the perfect moment, I realized that there wasn’t one, and I let the words slip out of my mouth over lunch with my dad, and over the phone with my mom. “I don’t just like guys. I am bisexual.”
Without skipping a beat, they acknowledged what I had said and continued on being their loving selves towards me. I used this month of Pride to really think about how I present myself to the world, and I wanted to follow the lead of so many other people who have proudly lived their lives openly. It just made sense to write about it on the blog that has helped me gather my thoughts for nearly the past ten years.
So, allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is Jasmine D. Lowe, and I’m a nerdy coffee-addicted writer who loves her family, friends, art, spending time outdoors in nature and who happens to also be bisexual.