If you’re here because of the click-bait title…gotchya! COVID-19 did not “turn” me gay. I didn’t catch Corona and then all of a sudden have a FIERCE desire to see what a woman tastes like. You cannot be “turned” gay; I know that. You know that. We all know that, hopefully. And if you don’t, go make friends with a queer person and ask them yourself. It’s 2020. Get it together. Woke up.

If anything, I’d now slap on that “bisexual” label for myself—but we won’t get into how problematic labels are right now. Which brings me to the point of this missive: I struggled with this realization. While you guys were jerking off to free Porn-Hub (do it to it, boo!) and wondering whether you’d end up like Piggy from Lord of Flies when Trump’s Marshall Law comes knocking, I found out that I was 100% totally and entirely capable of developing feelings for a girl. The first girl I’ve ever felt that way about, in fact, and trust me when I tell you I’ve felt it everywhere. And I do mean everywhere.

Raised in a conservative bible-thumping household, being gay was, to put it lightly, “frowned upon”. I was taught that same sex anything, if it wasn’t purely platonic, was wrong. I didn’t know any women who were openly gay. I had no exposure, no access, no one loud, no one proud. 

Growing up, bisexuality was the hat you wore before you realized you were Kinsey 6 gay. It was for the men who slept with women while really wanting to bang the pool boy. Bisexuals were the girls who played Softball, while apathetically dating the Baseball players. Living in my southern bubble, sexuality was black and white. Fluidity was for the flu, and the spectrum was for Aspergers. 

And see, that’s where my hang-up was, because I’m not gay. I craved men! I wanted them in my mouth, in my hands, in my texts, in my bed. And I still do. So what if sometimes I used my shower head to masturbate to Ruby Rose. I’ve been strictly dick-tly from age 15 until 28. I wanted to be Kristen Stewart not be with Kristen Stewart. Right?

Enter my most recent ex. He was a full-blown bunny-boiling psychopath, BUT he had his redeeming qualities. One of which being his intense desire to make me less “normal” I guess from his gaslighting POV—i.e. pointing out to me that the comments I made about women didn’t sound entirely…uh…straight? 

His motivations were most likely NOT pure and, most likely rooted in the fact that he wanted to have a threesome…so he could have sex with another girl and it not be considered cheating. Not sure why he was so hell-bent on convincing me of this since he, most likely slept with everyone and their mom during our long term monogamous relationship. Shout out to Chlamydia…the world’s best whistle blower! Don’t worry, I have a killer therapist now. And she agrees with you: he fucking sucks.

More importantly, I met this girl. I’ve known her for years, but the night we met my “formerly straight” self found her to be particularly alluring. It was confusing because once again I couldn’t separate the difference between wanting to be like her or be with her. 

I’d get drunk at Queer Dance Parties and stare at her mouth when she talked, wondering if my ex or her ex would care if I licked it. Fast forward to when the universe aligned and torched both our relationships in the same season. I found myself at a bar, stammering and blushing like crazy, trying to figure out how to get the words “I have a crush on you” out of my mouth without throwing up. A few days later, we made out in her car, and it was a true Katy Perry moment. But within 48-hours, I was trapped in my parent’s house for the quarantine to end all quarantines. 

I would say this sexual re-birth came as a shock, but my new reality has been slowly creeping into my mind like Kudzu since I met her. This truly foreign concept: Me? Bisexual? Couldn’t be, because up until this point, I’ve serially dated men. I’m not convinced they were all straight men—one of them was VERY into bucket hats—but they were cis men all the same. 

Over the last few years, I’ve had more exposure to LGBTQ+ people than I ever had before. I truly started to understand that gender and sexuality can be boxed up neatly, but they also have the ability to shape shift on a moments notice—from person to person, from day to day. It’s beautiful and it’s dynamic—and it’s all still so new to me. 

I can’t decide what has prevented me from tapping into my bisexuality up to this point, because coming out as “bisexual” at my age seems to make me a late bloomer. Almost to the point where I started to doubt my own feelings about it all. Is she the only girl I’ll feel this with? Did I ignore it when I felt it with others earlier on? Why now? And honestly, I’ve boiled it down to two things: acceptance and access. 

I’ve now found myself in a community of open-minded exploratory people, whether that’s artistically, emotionally or sexually. They’re creatives and most of them are queer in some capacity. Because of this, they don’t give a shit what I do, who I do or how I do it, as long as I’m not an asshole to people. Their unwavering acceptance of me and everyone else around them has set the foundation for the next variable: access. She was my gay Rumspringa. My access to someone who was here, queer, and unbelievably attractive to me was non-existent until her. 

After many conversations with a few wonderfully patient and queer friends, her included, I’ve been lucky enough to grow in my understanding of bisexuality and its versatility. It isn’t a mandated 50/50 split between an interest in men and in women. You can have sex with men, but solely commit to women, and vice versa. On the other hand, you can commit to one man and one man only your entire life and still be viscerally attracted to women.

It doesn’t have to be verified or validated by physical contact. You don’t have to love both sexes equally. You don’t have to label it or defend these feelings because you’ve only dated one sex exclusively up until now. You can discover this at age 28 and not be lying to yourself or others. Maybe you need to hear that, maybe I do. I don’t know. 

The irony that I’ve been locked in my childhood home for 3 weeks with my conservative family, having some bisexual awakening isn’t lost on me. I’m sexting a chick while staring at the ceramic cows I used to collect as a child. I’m lusting after her personality and emotional availability, thinking about what those fingers can do doe—right next to a framed picture of my parents dressed in all white, smiling while they vacationed in the Outer Banks. 

Honestly, I thought it would be more confusing, because the more I learn about love, the more I learn that I don’t know anything at all. But when I don’t think about labels, it seems fairly simple. I like who I like, and I want who I want—so don’t talk to me or my son ever again! 

I have no idea if this will turn into more than some quarantine cuffing season situation-ship, or if there is a line of future ex-girlfriends right behind her, ready to break my heart. But for now I don’t really care.