In honor of Spirit Day 2015 I’ve decided to share my own personal story of bullying because I was bisexual.
When I first began living my life under the label of bisexual I was 11 years old. I realized I liked boys and girls around age 6. When other little girls were liking boys, I was liking the girls, and boys. I had a boyfriend and a girlfriend in elementary school. When adults asked us what did we mean by “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” we meant friends with gender attached like boy friend and girl friend.
We didn’t know about sexuality.
The three of us innocently held hands in and out of school. We kissed on the cheek when we said bye. Around this time none of the kids in school thought anything of it.
It was when parents of other kids in school and the neighborhood found out about the three of us the problems began.
Girls parents told them to stay away from me, I was nasty and “fast”. It was on me because my family was relatively new to the neighborhood and my girl friend had never “done anything like this” before meeting me.
Not to mention my mother was obviously a Lesbian so she was to blame for my “acting out” (being bisexual).
The friends my “girl friend” and I had stopped hanging out with us. The whispers started in our neighborhood when we were outside playing. The girls would see us coming to the playground and run from us screaming things like: “Nasty, nasty, nasty!!!” or “Eeeeeew, my mom said stay away from her, she probably has a disease and I could catch it if she touches me. Let’s run!” and everyone would start screaming slurs while running away from us.
I’m not sure if it was because other people sparked our curiosity with telling us what we were doing was wrong and asking us did we touch each other this way and that way that made us curious or if it was our nature but at some point we realized what we were feeling wasn’t just friends, it was more.
He wanted to kiss me on the lips and I wanted him to too. He didn’t want to kiss her, he was my boy friend but I wouldn’t have minded. She was my girl friend and didn’t want to kiss him either. They weren’t boy friend and girl friend at all. They were cool, but not like me and him. She wanted to kiss me, and I wanted to kiss her, she wanted to kiss this other boy in school but was too shy to let him know.
So we did. Intermittently we kissed each other in private. Our hand holding was special now, it was different. Sometimes I held both of their hands, sometimes hers, sometimes his. Sometimes kissing made me feel funny in my special place, she said kissing made her special place feel funny too.
Once we realized it was more than just a friend thing we had going on, other people noticed it too. Again, especially the adults.
Over time we were ostracized by neighborhood kids, kids in school and then she had to stay away from me. We had to sneak around to see each other because the adults made their kids think we were freaks, nasty, disgusting kids who couldn’t play with other kids or we’d do bad things to them. Sexual things.
His mom wasn’t happy with the truth or the rumors but so long as my girlfriend and I weren’t hanging out anymore then it was cool for him to still be my boyfriend. Everyone thought it was best for us to hang out together more since she was gone.
Eventually they couldn’t keep her and I apart and her parents moved her away. I didn’t have another girlfriend until I was 11 almost 12.
Back when I was in elementary school I “looked like” a little girl. My mom dressed me “appropriately” for a pretty little girl. Always in the cutest and latest youth fashions. Then I got old enough to pick my own clothes and I wanted to look like my mother.
She didn’t wear girl clothes.
I mean, sometimes I did want to wear the pretty girl stuff but I really felt like a boy more than a girl on the inside most times so I figured why not? I did boy stuff and girl stuff. I liked dirt biking out in Cali and ballet in Ny (I was raised bi coastal). My cousins are all males and when I was in Cali we did boy stuff. When I was in NY just me and my little sister we did girl stuff…sometimes. We played football with mom, had GI Joes and Hot Rods with the whole shebang. We played with Hess trucks and built houses and towns with Lego’s. We also had makeup kits, baby dolls galore & played dress up like the Queen of England and had tea parties (my Grandmother is Canadian).
I told mom I wanted slacks, loafers, polos and pullovers like hers. I didn’t know what transgender meant until many years later. I don’t think mom did either. Back then either you were a “dyke/bulldagger” or a “butch” and considered Lesbian without thought to ask your actual sexuality if you wore masculine designed clothing and were female. Men who wore female clothes were called “cross dressers” or “drag queens” and were also considered to be homosexual by society without thought to ask.
All were considered “sexual deviants”.
Mom bought me whatever I wanted to wear, masculine/feminine, didn’t matter. Some days I wore a blend of both, other days I wore one or the other.
Somewhere around the 5th grade as they say today “shit got real”. The other kids in the school used to tease me saying things like my mother looked like a truck driver, she probably carried a hammer and nails, where was her tool belt?, was she my dad and my mom or just my mom? stuff like that.
This started in like the 4th grade. By 5th grade when I started wearing clothes like my mom, sometimes the same exact outfit that’s when the physical bullying started.
Other kids, boys and girls would chase me in the school yard until they cornered me and beat me up during lunch.
Every day I’d run home and tell mom what happened and every day she told me ignore them, they’re just jealous, they wish they were as pretty as me that’s why they’re mad, tell my teacher, tell the principal, tell the lunch lady, tell the yard monitor. She’s a very NON VIOLENT person and always tries to work things out through talking before any kind of physical altercation.
We did all that. Told the teacher, teacher tried to mediate, kids beat me up more for being a tattle tale. Told mom about that, mom met with the principal. I ended up having to literally jump the fence out of the school yard and hide when I went back to school. Mom kept me home from school some days to try to figure all of this out with teachers, parents, the principal.
At first they didn’t know why I was being bullied. I was a quiet kid with no friends, an obvious nerd and it made no sense why I was getting picked on so much. Kids lied. At first the school thought maybe it was my own fault because so many kids were involved, maybe I’d done something or kept doing something to them to make them want to beat me up.
I told mom why after a while. I didn’t want to tell her and hurt her feelings at first. She refused to let me be bullied because she was a “Lesbian” and I was too. That just wasn’t true.
She had a husband, my step father was ALWAYS there for school stuff. Despite the way my mother dressed she wasn’t a lesbian, she just dressed however she wished. They’d assumed wrong. My mother was actually bisexual (She’d probably kill me for writing that if she ever reads this, she’s a staunch “lesbian” & always has been if you ask her).
My stepfather raised me from birth to age 12 by my mother’s side ALWAYS no matter how she dressed and we were a family. Mother, father and two daughters. Who they slept with was nobody’s business. How we dressed wasn’t either.
She didn’t make me into a sexual deviant, I just dressed the way I wanted to.
No matter what we did the bullying didn’t stop. The kids were viscous and beyond mean. They tortured me, gave me bad nerves, I hated going to school but used my isolation to excel academically…which made my problems worse. I was a lesbian nerd. Eventually I put a stop to the bullying my own way one day in the school yard. I fought every single person who cornered me one day with a padlock wrapped around my fingers. I kicked ass and never again was I bullied. I made it be known I was going to be me and that was it.
In my teens I was out loud and proud, but not everyone was okay with that. Girls always had slick stuff to say when I was around. During those years I wore a masculine presentation and decided I was a Lesbian once I began to understand all this sexuality stuff around 13.
Bisexual was too dirty of a label to wear back then.
It was hard enough being a lesbian, being bisexual back then was being a bottom of the barrel sexual deviant back then. So you either chose straight or gay. Although gay was bad, bi was just plain nasty.
Even in the LGBT Community Bi was a bad word. There was pressure from homo and hetero society to choose one but you couldn’t be both. I loved women, a lot, so I must have been a Lesbian I thought.
Whenever I was seen with a guy I’d be teased by friends and the threat of social suicide was always imminent if I even looked at a guy any other way than my bro.
I didn’t go places like Harlem or The Bronx “dressed as a boy” unless I was getting off the train going straight to a close destination. I’d been almost jumped by groups of girls, almost had my face slashed once and chased by groups of girls way too many times just because I dressed like a boy and that was in downtown Manhattan! I heard what happened to girls like me in Harlem and The Bronx. I was scared to be myself in those places. You could tell I wasn’t used to being feminine most times when I switched into “girl clothes”. It still “showed” I was “a dyke”.
Eventually over time LGBT people gained more and more freedom to walk the streets freely dressed as we wish and most of the bullying in my life stopped. By my late teens I began a spiritual journey and wore religious presentation which was feminine which was a whole ‘nother journey.
Since my early teens I’ve learned how to shut bullies down first hint of the b.s. and I’m serious about protecting others who may not be strong enough to do so while in my presence.
Nobody deserves to fight through their youth just because of who they are.
Have you ever been bullied because you’re bisexual? Have you witnessed or protected a bisexual bullied for being bi?
If so, share below!
-Jay Dee, Founder