Hi, I‘m Rachel. I am Bisexual.

I am a 20 year old university student. I love reading. Some of my favourite authors are Virginia Woolf, Stephen King and Ian McEwan. I have visited Italy (several times), Croatia, Slovenia, France, Austria and Tunisia. Each and every place was beautiful, and I can't wait to see more of the world. I am very shy and find making new friends difficult.

What being bisexual means to me

Being bisexual means that I am free to be who I really am.

What I would like the world to know about bisexuals

We do not decide that we want to be bisexual out of the blue. It is how we are, and we would appreciate acceptance. We will not cheat on our partners just because we are bisexual. We are regular people, with regular lives, regular jobs and regular lifestyles. We all have our own personalities. Being bisexual isn't the only interesting thing about us. We're human. Also, bisexual doesn't mean having sex with two people at once (*clears throat* take note Wilson).

What was your path to a bisexual identity?

When I was about 13, I started realising I liked both boys and girls. I was scared and confused (I had no idea what bisexuality was back then). I realised I was different from my friends. I was always shy and had trouble making friends, so I couldn't tell them that I thought something was "wrong" with me. I couldn't tell my family either, since they're all deeply religious, so I kept everything bottled up and ended up crying myself to sleep for years.

Up until I was 16, I was in denial about my sexuality. Then, I finally managed to embrace it and decided that I was ready to tell my friends. I slowly starting hinting that I liked girls as well as boys. This went on for about a month, and then I decided to tell my friends. I was surprised at how well they took it, and I'm glad they don't feel awkward around me now. I still haven't told my family, and I don't feel ready to come out to them yet.

What is the toughest thing about being bisexual?

Keeping the secret from my family and not being able to publicly show my support for LGBTIQ+ communities because of it. I feel left out of the local community and feel like I have no one to talk to.

How have other people in your life reacted to your bisexuality?

My friends reacted differently. Some were surprised, some were shocked, some were indifferent, but they all eventually got used to the idea. Some of my female friends felt a little uncomfortable around me at first, but then they realised I wasn't going to suddenly start hitting on them since I came out. After some time they all accepted me.

What advice do you have for someone who thinks they may be bi or who is in the process of coming out as bi?

If you think you're bisexual, firstly, it's okay. Secondly, you'll figure things out as you go along. Try to assess the people around you before coming out and make sure they're ready for it. More importantly, learn that there is nothing wrong with you, learn to love and feel good about yourself, and remember that you're awesome.