Today I welcome AQPLV to Ace Of Bens. She talks about her
My identity is a part of me.
I feel “bisexual” down to the ensemble of “things I am”. I do not think much about it since it is something rooted in me and placed where nothing external can come and make me doubt it. I am convinced it has always been like this.
I associate it with the feeling of being a “woman” (a cis woman, to be precise), since I had always considered that identity, too, as granted and immutable.
But things were different as I grew up.
I am positive that I would have never doubted my orientation, had I known about queer identities as a child and seen them represented as something anybody can be. Like many other people, this was not the case for me. It was sheer luck that my family did their best to raise me without prejudices. I was never scolded with words such as “girls don’t do that/this is boys’ stuff,” and when I was a little older I heard my parents saying harsh words against homophobia and supporting marriage equality (not to the point of being allies, just saying that it was unfair to deny people the right to marry the person they loved).
However, at home or between peers, the discussion always included LGBTQ people as somebody “other,” people who were not in the same room as “us,” something we certainly are not nor know about (not to mention the internalised homo/transphobia me and other kids picked up from media and adults).
During middle school, I could not wrap my head around how hard us preteen girls and boys were being pushed inside gender boxes, how on every side there was somebody uncomfortable with the roles assigned. I felt liberating being vocal and assuring my attraction to males, I did not want to pretend I was disgusted by the idea of sex (in the playful and immature way middle schoolers behave towards this subject) and I questioned why a girl from the third year was being shamed for having “lost” her virginity but nobody mentioned her partner who was her age and was very part of the act.
That’s when I felt something was “wrong” with me. Every time I thought about wlw relationships, I could feel myself getting slightly sick and I could not explain why. It left me puzzled: I have no prejudice (so I thought) why was I feeling uncomfortable?
I have a silly memory about this: I have always been a storyteller and during that time (maybe to ease my mind) I started collecting loose doodles about a love story between two girls fairies coming from opposing clans: sort of Romeo & Juliet with a happy ending. Both of the protagonists had a male love interest before knowing each other and while my 13-year-old-self thought it as an “I never felt this way before I met you” type of story, I probably subconsciously told myself it was okay to be attracted to more genders.
Fast forwarding to my teenage years, internet and fan content discussion had been a great place for me to discuss about LGBTQ matters and most importantly to realize that bisexuality was something that existed, that being queer was not something that made a person an outlier or somehow “different” from others (aforementioned internalized homophobia can be tricky to unlearn). I understood that my discomfort only came from ignorance and that my feelings were never “wrong”, I was just missing a piece to interpret them.
I am one of those lucky individuals who has never experienced discrimination directly, I have never been personally the target of biphobia or general homophobia. However I have witnessed general acts of discrimination, in words and/or actions, from proud homophobes who took the internalised feeling of the queer person as “other” and twisted it to further their own crusade and from “normal” people, who may or may not be aware that that impression is not true.
I personally do not feel like making a “coming out” or an announcement in regards to my orientation, I wish to present it like I was never in a closet to begin with. Unfortunately, I am aware that intolerant individuals are always lurking and I wish I could speak casually about exes and romantic interests without worrying I may reach the ears of someone who thinks cishet people are the only humans in this world. My facebook profile (that I keep alive only because I use my account to log on some online games) has my orientation in the general info since when I checked that option in 2010, I like to think of that as a casual reminder to others that bisexual people do not live in some kind of separate world. Nobody has ever batted an eye about it but again I am a lucky one, safety is much more important than making a statement and I understand those who feel too unsafe to share.
In the end, “bisexual” is a word that defines my attraction to different genders, to be a simple descriptor of my person.
I am a 25-year-old Italian woman. Drawing has always been a hobby of mine. I am not proficient but I decided to try harder. Currently in the millennial limbo of unemployment and broken hopes for the future.
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