The first part of my sexual awakening took the shape of Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Moon‘s resident overdressed douche who, while standing atop a crescent moon, would throw red roses with comic gusto to save the (usually crying) title character/heroine from her plight. Unaware of the now infamous damsel in distress gets saved by Prince Charming trope, of feminism and girlpower, my princess-obsessed, Lois Lane wannabe five or six-year-old self was smitten with him. ‘Oh, mother, look how handsome he is!’ I had gushed day in, day out, while brandishing shiny trading cards bearing his angelic image. Unsurprisingly, I wanted to be Sailor Moon, that immaculately beautiful yet adorably clumsy celestial princess whose fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes were, retrospectively, to blame for the onset of my inferiority complex: that rude shock whenever my mirror reflection revealed black hair, black eyes and yellowish skin instead of Little Miss Victoria’s Secret (ft. Bouncing Blonde Curls & Sea-Coloured Eyes). Things worsened when cruel, inevitable adolescence arrived and ushered in page after page of glossy models who looked nothing like me, but who looked good in everything…but this is a tale for another
time post. So, I was five or so and I loved Tuxedo Mask and I was a girl and he was a boy and it was all easy-peasy.
Throughout high school, especially after my (re)discovery of boys at the age of 14 after a long, Barbie-fuelled hiatus, I continued to pine after good looking penis owners, be they effeminate Japanese idols or vampiric teen heartthrobs by the name of Edward Cullen (yes, I was a crazy Twilight fan, the type who had all the books, DVDs, T-shirts and merchandise). I had heard of gays and lesbians, I think, but not bisexuals. I had a very limited knowledge of the LGBTQ+ community, as it were. Straight was the norm, and I even had a crush on a string of cute male teachers (textbook daddy issues; pun intended) so I never even thought about my sexuality.
Then came university, and the second part of my sexual awakening. It took the form of one Ellen DeGeneres. Rather, it was sparked by her presence on my television set. Charmed by her quick wit and kind acts, I tuned in everyday at 12pm to watch her dazzle her adoring audience with humorous quibs and shower struggling families with much-needed cars and cash. I really liked her, but for a year or so, that was all. Nothing had changed, I was still lusting after (usually older) men, in particular Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and Richard Gere, thanks to gooey rom-coms. There was also a brief fling involving a Japanese rocker by the name of Ruki, and one-sided affairs with a bunch of fictional characters—all of whom were male—but, alas, being neither a celebrity nor a product of an author’s imagination, I remained as single as I was straight.
In fact, I thought I was as straight as a ruler until I enrolled in SCLG1001, watched Black Swan, and began to question my growing feelings for Ellen and women like her. I was drawn to my possibly lesbian, definitely attractive sociology lecturer, because she was a terrific speaker, funny in the most intelligent way, and had the sort of look (read: spiky-haired lesbian wonder) that sent gaydars off. It didn’t even matter whether she was gay or not, I was into her the way I was into Ellen. At that point I was still unable to iterate the precise ways in which I liked those women, but a hazy question mark had formed in my head and my straight license was put on hold. This was the main reason I watched Black Swan: I knew there was a much discussed lesbian sex scene it in, featuring two very attractive brunette actresses. Some subconscious, deep-seated instinct (desire?) in me stirred, curiosity kicked in and before I knew it, I was home alone, watching the movie to discover the hidden truth about myself, if any. I watched the steamy bedroom sequence and liked it. I liked it so much that I wanted in, which alarmed and excited me.
Around the same time, I worked out that I liked the confident, funny, tomboyish show host in more ways than ‘platonically, as a comedienne’. I thought she was adorable, the most sacred thing, made of honey and sunlight and all that is good and sweet in life—I thought she was la dolce vita personified. And yes, I wanted to kiss her, too. It made me blush to think about it, making out with her or girls like Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman.
But all of these feelings were very new and sudden waves of uncertainty washed over me. Like all queer/questioning kids before me, I resorted to Google and unreliable online quizzes by nervously typing ‘am i bisexual’ into the search bar one night. The questionable quizzes said yes, as did the helpful responses (in reply to questions posed by those like me) from seasoned bisexuals on message boards, but I was still unsure, and a tiny bit uncomfortable. All this time I thought I was straight, and doesn’t bisexual mean you are supposed to like boys and girls equally, as in 50/50? Why is it that I am still more attracted to boys? Am I faking it? What is the matter with me??
By some cosmic turn of coincidence, while I was watching The Project a year later the answer to all my questions came in the form of a single sentence uttered by Aussie comedic legend Magda Szubanski who came out on the show that night. She described herself as “gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, a little bit not gay, gay, gay, gay”, as in, mostly gay but a tiny bit straight here and there. Though simple, it clarified everything for me and is the reason I am able to identify comfortably as bisexual and come out to my liberal-minded friends and family members over the next few years. If she is what she said she is, then I am 70-80% straight and 20-30% gay, which feels just right. I was not ‘faking it’, I do have romantic and sexual feelings for girls, and I am a legitimate member of the LGBTQ+ community. Thank you, Magda.
Turns out, I am one of those colourful bendy rulers favoured by primary schoolers worldwide and not the bend-me-too-much-and-I’ll-snap super straight kind I always used (and thought I was). Boys, girls, androgynous beauties: yes, yes, yes.
I’d like to conclude this post with a particularly dank meme:
…And a touch of glossy bisexual porn (sex sells, and god knows this blog could use more publicity):