I was seventeen when I first thought that I might be bi, but it would take me another fifteen years to come out to anyone.
First, I had to admit it to myself, fighting years of internalised biphobia. For a while I thought I was straight, because I knew I wasn’t a lesbian, before realising that there was more to sexuality than just straight or gay. And then, once I had accepted that I was bi, I spent months agonising over how to tell one of the most important people in my life – my husband.
In hindsight I could have come out to him sooner, as the first thing that he said to me was, “I’m bi too.”
It was a huge relief, and I am so thankful that my first coming out experience was such a positive one.
Not long after that, we went to a peer support group, seeking out a connection to a community that is often invisible. I remember drinking too much coffee before it, and my heart was pounding as I walked into the room. People shared their stories, and I realised that I wasn’t alone. It was a liberating experience, and one that left me feeling confident.
But then I realised that the next person I would have to tell was my mum, as we were close, and the fear started all over again. My mum was an ally, and yet I was still afraid of how she would react. Even though the logical part of my brain told me not to worry, I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking.
She accepted me without question, and she was the one who held my hand as I told my dad, reassuring me that it would all be fine (it was).
Since coming out eighteen months ago, I have found a community of people like me, who are some of the most accepting and caring people that I have ever met.
I know not everyone is as lucky as me, and I’m not sure that I would be as confident as I am now without the support of those closest to me, as well as the entire bi+ community.
A few weeks ago, for Bi Visibility Day, I came out to over a hundred people at an event without hesitation, and my twitter bio now has the words ‘proud bisexual’ for the whole world to see.
I’ve come out to so many people at this point that I’m happy just casually mentioning it in conversation, and to this day, I’ve never had a bad reaction from people.
It is impossible in this society for everyone to know that I am bi, even though I am trying very hard to make sure that as many people as possible see that bisexuals do exist. My sexuality is not something to be ashamed of, and while not every conversation revolves around it, any time I have a chance to mention it to people, I will.
I now wear all the sparkly pink, purple and blue things I can find, hoping that people will know their significance, and realise that they are not alone.
Lorna is one of the organisers of the Scottish Bi+ Network and you can follow the Network online here.