Anika’s Story: Coming Out is Confusing
By: Anika In’t Hout
It’s June which means it’s time for Pride Month! Pride is a great time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, how far LGBTQ+ rights have come and how much farther we have to go.
I know how hard and confusing it can be to figure out who you are. But if you think you identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community or are starting to question your identity, that’s a beautiful, amazing thing.
A lot of people think that when you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, you know who you are and then bam! You come out of the closet and start telling everyone immediately. But for most people, it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. Everyone’s coming out story is different, but here’s mine.
So I identify as biromantic demisexual/gray-asexual. This is where I’m romantically attracted to more than one gender, but I’m only sexually attracted to people rarely, either under specific circumstances or sometimes if I form an emotional bond with them. So when I was in middle school and all the girls were fawning over boy bands and shirtless werewolves, I wasn’t getting it.
But finding this label wasn’t always easy. I think when you ask most people in the LGBTQ+ community when they know who they were, they will tell you that it was very early on, like middle school or sometimes even before that. But nope, not for me.
While most of my friends came out as trans, bi, pan, non-binary, and gay in grades eight and nine, it took me a lot longer to figure it out. It wasn’t until eleventh grade that I started questioning who I was when I started catching feelings for this girl I met in summer school. We spent everyday together and she meant a lot to me. But I never felt those feelings for a girl before so I tried to shut them down, telling myself those feelings weren’t real.
Flash forward to my first year of university and this thought of me being attracted to both girls and guys was still gnawing at me. So after plenty of talks with my bi friends, late-night google searches and retaking those “am I bi?” quizzes over and over again, I finally came out as bisexual. And I loved the bisexual label for a long time.
But while I loved being bisexual, there was still something that was bugging me. I remember when I was in high school, I would be getting my books out of my locker and overhear people talking about sex and people’s hotness and just feeling super uncomfortable. This continued when my friends in university would talk about this stuff too. And I always used to dread playing games like F*ck marry kill or Never have I ever, as they just made me feel lost and lonely. I just remember thinking, “is there something wrong with me? Am I broken?”
So when I discovered the demisexual and gray-ace labels, I was like “oh my God. That’s me. There are other people out there like me.” So I’m still bi, it’s just the label’s changed from bisexual to biromantic as I’m also under the ace (aka asexual) umbrella.
So yeah, it was a bit of a wobbly bicycle but now I’m proud to be biromantic demisexual/gray-asexual. From my partner to my friends to my family, I’m very grateful to have people in my life who are so supportive, not only when I first came out, but in those everyday moments too.
There’s often this pressure LGBTQ+ folks feel where they’re like, “oh well I came out as a lesbian when I was twelve so I can’t switch to pansexual now.” That’s not true at all! Just like your body’s changing, your identity can change too, and that’s totally okay. Sexuality is a completely fluid thing and it’s perfectly fine to change your labels to work for you. Or hey, if you don’t like labels at all, then don’t use them. Some love them, some don’t. So do what’s right for you.
I think there’s this idea that when an LGBTQ+ person comes out, their story ends there, that’s the end. But that’s not the case at all. That’s only the first chapter. You have so many chapters ahead of you. So no matter how you think you identify--bisexual, gender fluid, asexual, non-binary-- your identity is real, valid and amazing.
About the Author
Meet Anika, our content creator and copywriter! Even though it’s been a while since she had to deal with the awkwardness of buying her first bra, she is excited to join the Apricotton team and make bra shopping a little bit easier for tween and teen girls. You can connect with her here.