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Being a Part of the LGBT Community as a Teenager

What It's Like to Be 16 and Liking More Than Just Guys...

I am bisexual. No, I am not confused. Yes, I know what being bisexual means. I admit, I didn't know exactly what it meant and I wasn't sure of it for a very long time, and to those questioning their sexuality, it's okay to not know just yet. When I first came to the realization that I like girls and boys, I didn't really know what to do. The first person I told was my best friend in 5th grade and her exact response was, "Ew. That's gross."

It took me a while to grasp the fact that I'm not just attracted to boys. Some of my family is religious so naturally I was afraid to tell them, especially in the off chance that it was just a phase. I waited and told my mother two years later, but we haven't really talked about it since. Just recently, I came out to only some of my family; luckily I got supportive responses and loving comments. I'm blessed to have a family that loves me like they do. Some people have very religious families who aren't as open to the idea of the LGBT community as others. This leads to teenagers and even adults being afraid of telling their own families who they are. Like I said, I was fortunate to get a positive response about coming out from my family, but to those who question their sexuality or who they want to be, don't let that fear stop you. It wasn't hard for me to come out to my family, but I know what it's like to let fear restrain you completely from being who you are and doing what you want. Of course, I hesitated telling my family. I waited almost 9 years because I was partially afraid they would view me differently. I've let my worries hold me back from so many amazing opportunities in life. I'd hate to watch anyone else put themselves through that and make the same mistakes as me.

It's funny, though. People find out I like girls and assume I'm attracted to every girlfriend I have and every girl I see on the street. It's not complicated; I look at girls the same way I look at guys. No, I don't want to or try to have sex with all of my girlfriends. No, I'm not all over every girl I see. I was surprised to find out people genuinely think that. I have a type with girls, as I do for guys. I don't fall for every guy I see shirtless or every time I see a girl in a bikini. One of my closest girlfriends, Jessica, had told me people were coming up to her asking about me being bi. Her response to them made me tear up. She said, "My best friend likes girls and guys and I love her with all my heart. Yes, I am comfortable having sleepovers. Yes, we change in front of each other. No, she wouldn't come on to me. My best friend is bisexual and I wouldn't change her."

Social media is a blessing and a curse. You can meet all these incredible people around the world going through the same exact thing as you, have the same interests, and can relate to you. I've made so many internet friends and they are the nicest people. At the same time, there are so many judgmental people out there just waiting to criticize you for anything you do. As terrible as that is, there will always be people who are going to judge you whether it's online or in person, especially in the LGBT community. All of those ignorant people who have nothing better to do and can't keep their opinions to themselves for the life of them, they come after us, when we are not hurting anyone, not breaking any law. All we're doing is loving. We love who we want to love and it just blows their tiny homophobic minds that there is more to relationships than just man and woman. Can you imagine? People getting angry and upset over the fact that all we are literally doing is loving and doing what makes us happy. Welcome to reality.

It is a little difficult being a bisexual female, especially as a teenager. I know a ton of people my age and older who are lesbian/gay, transgender, pansexual, and so many others. A lot of people think you're doing it for attention, or whatever reason it may be, which is understandable to an extent. A lot of kids do go through this as a phase, but open your mind to the fact that maybe this isn't a phase, that maybe we know what the hell we're talking about. People assume you know nothing because of your young age, or you know everything because you're older. It's ridiculous. Your age doesn't automatically determine your knowledge. Anyway, not my point. As hard as it can be for all of you in the LGBT community, just live your life, be who you are, and love who you want to love. 

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Being a Part of the LGBT Community as a Teenager
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