I was told bisexuality was a myth
It wasn’t a magical story I could ask more about with wonder – it was a concept I should forget: unimportant and invalid. Doctor Who’s Captain Jack and Maureen from RENT showed me bisexuality could be magical, ‘but they weren’t really Bi’, so I came to believe. Even if they were, they were fictional, and in real life bisexuality was the kind of myth that would lose me friends and bring about disappointment. Bi wasn’t something I wanted to be.
So I suppressed what I’ve come to love so much. I ignored the pink, purple and blue flutters that when acknowledged, would allow me to finally understand who I was. I put my feelings in a closet that was kept secret from even myself, and I used my disbelief in Bi people as comfort when I crushed on pretty girls. If bisexuality was a myth, then I didn’t have to confront it, and my attraction to men stopped me from panicking about my sapphic thoughts – for a while, at least.
At fourteen, I was a girl wearing black on the verge of an emo phase, and my friend and I started to advocate for the existence of unicorns. We consistently claimed they were real and it made our Chemistry teacher furious; we had something to laugh about and it made us happy within walls that did the opposite. When you feel like an outcast in school, it seems natural to cling to a mythical creature that represents everything you feel you are and everything you wish you were: different and disbelieved yet beautiful and loved. Looking back, it’s funny how this turned into very serious activism when I came out as Bi. I no longer stood up for horses with horns, but for teenagers like me being told they were too young to know.
Coming out to myself was a release of internal acceptance but my joy was met with dismissal when I spoke to others. ‘You’re only sixteen’ and ‘you can’t possibly know who you are yet’, but for the first time in my life I knew I knew. I was so certain I’d found my identity and my community – it was so real, I could feel it in my bones. I wasn’t a myth and the Bi+ community wasn’t a myth, but it was definitely magical. Accepting, wonderful and magical – I wondered how I ignored it for so long. It had been right there on the internet all along and I knew one day I’d feel that sense of home and understanding in a room outside a screen too.
Growing up believing a vivid part of your identity is a myth can leave you with a lot of questions about who you are. Bi erasure and biphobia can’t stop Bi+ people from existing. We don’t just appear on tote bags and pillow cases amongst castles on clouds and rainbows. We exist here, on earth. Bisexuality isn’t a myth, and it’s not a concept you should forget. We’re important. We’re valid.
We’re the busted myths – unicorns who refused to stay where you can’t see us, because magic as real as ours isn’t just for fairytales
Written by Emily Eaton