A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a lovely young woman called Leen, whose writing really struck a chord with me. I’ve been feeling really stuck with a lot of personal topics, so I am very pleased to host her thoughts about labels here today!
“Hello, my name is Leen and I am a bisexual woman.“ It looks so easy but feels so wrong. It’s only a word, yet its power strikes me to say the least. I guess you could say it feels like being trapped in a box, or walking around with a neon sign on my forehead. This eight letter word has made me feel self-conscious and relieved at the same time. A few years ago, when I first started learning about the LGBTQ+ community and trying to figure out if I belonged, it helped. It helped me define who I am, what I’m feeling and what I’m supposed to be. To be honest, when I was fourteen I was extremely confused, it had never entered my head that I would turn out to be anything other then straight. But there I was laying in my bed late at night, watching coming out videos and slowly feeling like I was losing myself. I had liked boys before, felt the typical butterflies in my tummy and my heart beating faster, whenever I crossed paths with my crush. Then again, watching those videos and thinking about holding another girls soft hand felt completely right. But, as I thought boys were cute I definitely could not be a lesbian, so I tried to forget about it and concentrate on other things. Maybe this is a good point to mention, that I have had pretty bad anxiety my whole life, so not knowing what was going on made me extremely nervous. So, when I came across the word „Bisexual“ for the first time I was so relieved to have found something that fits me, something that makes sense and something to explain what was going on in my head, my heart that the word just stuck. I gradually started telling family and friends, which was a process of three years and wasn’t always easy, but I thought once that was over I’d be fine. Oh boy was I wrong. I am currently eighteen and very single, but in the past year I dated a few girls and it just never stuck. I started to question, if I really was bi. Maybe it was actually a phase and I had got the whole thing completely wrong? I spent days trying to figure out my feelings and fit back into this label that had once felt like a safe space. It didn’t seem to fit anymore, but neither did straight. It was extremely frustrating and confusing, how could something go from feeling like the perfect fit to being an alien? Don’t get me wrong, kissing girls was…amazing! Their soft lips, small hands and…okay I think you get what I mean. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy it, the aftermath was the problem. The butterflies never showed up, my heart continued beating at its normal rate and touching them didn’t send out electric impulses. I would tell myself that it was just the wrong person until I felt like exactly that; the wrong person. Maybe it was all my problem, what if I just couldn’t love anyone, maybe I had commitment issues or was straight and in denial? Let me tell you neither of them was the case, it was rather a problem of myself trying so hard to be perfect, to make love feel like a fairytale and hold onto this label. I was forcing myself to feel everything and whenever something didn’t work out, whenever I didn’t develop feelings I would doubt myself. But I have learned that sexuality is fluid and it’s okay to change. Maybe I’ll only be into guys for a while and then see this girl that is absolutely breathtaking and fall in love on the spot. Anything could happen and just because one box felt right a few years ago doesn’t mean I can’t outgrow it. I’m trying to live in the moment and have trust in my feelings. Some days I wish I had a word that could define what goes on in my heart and sometimes I still use the word bisexual to describe me. What I’m trying to say is that you don’t need to fit into a label to be validated, it’s okay if something feels right one day and something else feels right another. You can jump from box to box if that’s what you think is fit or you can stop and rest midair. If you feel comfortable with a label and choose to use it that’s great and I’m happy you found your place in the world for now and if you’re confused or chose to leave the labelling out all together that’s as good. Do what feels right and don’t try to force yourself into a box that doesn’t fit, nothing in life is easy and you’ll figure it all out one day. So I guess you could say I’m putting the word “bisexual“ aside for now and I chose to just love, love my friends, family, myself, boys, girls and most importantly life.
Leen is a lover of sunsets and shooting stars and obsessed with anything pink or a rainbow on it. She feels at home on stage and gets lost whilst dancing to the beat of the music but she’s also just your average teenage girl who’s trying to express what goes on in her mind and make sense of it.