By Brian Sheridan
The first time I felt it was okay to be me was in choir class during my sophomore year of high school. The only other boy I connected with gave me a look one day during class, a knowing smile and cocked eyebrow.
“You’re… different, right?” he asked. It was like he was asking something taboo. It might as well have been, we were in a Roman Catholic school after all. I didn’t speak much in that class at first, but I gave him a small nod and pushed my head back into my music. We were inseparable after that.
He showed me everything I wanted. Queer culture was a creature I had never been brave enough to embrace before, and I loved it. Drag, dance, and divas overtook my life, and I felt like I had found things I could finally connect to.
Thank you, Ricky.
When I told my best friend that I liked boys and girls, she smiled and squeezed my hand. I’d know her since I was ten, and to think I was scared of how she might have reacted is asinine in retrospect. I think we even grew closer because of it.
Of course, there were always whispers and rumors, littering the air we breathed each class. She didn’t let it bother her. She couldn’t care less about what they thought, and I loved feeling that confidence. We went to our senior prom together.
“Why would I have treated you different?” she laughed one day. “You’re still you, that’s just another part.”
Thank you, Cassie.
It wasn’t until college that I met another bi boy. He was quiet and closed off, but he was nicer than most men. I don’t think we talked for the first four months we knew each other. Things just started rolling one day.
When it came up, it wasn’t a big deal, and we didn’t linger long on the subject. I didn’t realize how good it felt until a few days later. I wasn’t alone. Someone could fully understand.
I’ve never connected with another man that way before. I felt drawn to him. For the first time in my life, I felt like I had a man I could look up to, to imitate. He’s so comfortable with himself, and unbothered by foreign perception. He knows who he is. I’m not sure I would know without him.
Thank you, J
The first time I told someone it was okay; he’d been crying in confusion. His whole life he’d been told what he felt was wrong, invalid. Men and women alike stuck up their nose when he’d proudly state “I’m bi.”
“Is it right to feel this way? Is what I feel real?” he asked. I smiled.
“More than anything,” I said softly. “It’s Okay.”
About the Author
Brian Sheridan is a third year college student based in Burlington, Vermont. In addition to writing, he is also an aspiring educator, seeking to integrate more creative aspects into his classroom in the hopes of giving his students a deeper connection and appreciation to the arts. In his free time, he enjoys drinking excessive amounts of coffee, drag, listening to 80's synth pop, and asking strangers if he can hang out with their dogs for indefinite amounts of time.