I Kissed a Girl, Found Out I Was Bi, And I Liked It
By Pato Sánchez
January 14, 2023
Photo credit: Pexels/Emmanuelle Pereira Kus
Since I was five years old, I remember being attracted to men and women. I would pretend to be Sailor Moon, and I didn't understand why Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon would fight for Tuxedo Mask’s love instead of just being a throuple. If I were Serena, that's what I would have done; be with both of them, because I liked them both. However, I never knew what that attraction was. It was me, but I had a feeling it was not “normal”, or what was “right”.
I grew up with my family in Mexico City in the conservative 1990s. I never had a gay, bi, lesbian, let alone a transsexual or transgender family member who could have been a reference for who I was. I had to keep quiet for fear of being reprimanded. And I kept quiet for 21 years.
My father passed away ten years ago, just a year before I met Monica. I never introduced him to a boyfriend, let alone a girl. I will never know what he would have thought of me now, but it’s something that I no longer think about.
Monica was my first bi love, and thanks to her, I got to know another world. I realized I was bi, and without fear, I came out at my university; it was the only space where I felt like I could be myself without fear of rejection.
One night I took Monica to my house, and I introduced her to my mother as my "friend", but days later, my mother asked me if my "friend" was a lesbian because "it was obvious”. The conversation stopped there.
Since that comment, I started to feel she suspected something; I was sure of it. I was so anxious about it that I would imagine my mother catching us on a date or that someone would tell her my truth. But what terrified me the most was the fear of being kicked out of the house once my mother found out.
So I decided that if she would eventually find out, it would come from me. I rehearsed what I would say to her many times. That day I was determined to tell my mom the truth. When I told her that Monica was not my friend, she was my girlfriend and that I liked her, she told me: "I am your mother, I will always love you as you are, but I know that this is just a phase. Fine. It’s ok to experiment; I only ask you not to bring Monica back because I don’t like her. Also, please don’t tell your grandmother or anyone in the family this because they will reject you, and I don't want that."
I knew it wasn't a phase; it was who I am, bi. And despite having "come out of the closet" with my mom, she locked me in it again. I could be free in my social circle, but not with either side of my family.
As the years passed, I created memories with boys and girls. I don't actually know how many; I've lost count! I've forgotten most of them and only a few remain in my heart. Everyone, absolutely everyone, knew about my bisexuality.
My grandma passed away in 2018, she never knew the real me.
As a result of her death, I knew that this was the best moment to talk to my mother about it because if I were to have a girlfriend again, I didn't want to hide her. I told her that I still liked girls, that I had always liked them and that I would never stop liking them and that I also liked men. It wasn't a phase. I mentioned that grandma had gone to a better place and that there was no one else for whom I had to hide. I told her that from that day on, with her and all my family, I would be openly bi. It wouldn't matter if I was with a girl or a boy, I would introduce them equally.
I told her that I loved her and I thanked her for her support, but that this was me and that she had two options: accept me and be part of my life or reject me, and as much as it would hurt my soul, for us each to go our separate ways and not be part of my life or know any family that I may have in the future.
She told me that she wanted to be part of my life and that she loved me. A few months later, I asked her to make me a bi flag to wave proudly at the LGBT pride in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas. She didn't just make one... she made two flags. I bring them out on every possible occasion. That small but significant gesture was what finally let me know my mom accepted me being bi.
Being bi in a heteronormative world is not easy, It’s not easy even in a diverse circle where you are constantly questioned and told to pick a side. Either you become a lesbian or you are hetero, because in their mind, the fact that we like both sexes can’t be possible.
I have experienced biphobia many times. Gay friends would try to “turn me”. They would reject my bisexuality and even say I’m "gross for sleeping with the oppressor".
I am not gross, I exist; and despite the biphobia, I have managed to find a network of bi friends, colleagues, and activists who have embraced me strongly and with whom I have managed to be myself.
I don't know who I will end up with, a man or a woman, but in my world, that doesn't matter. I only know that I kissed a girl, found out I was bi, and I liked it. Katy Perry's song “I Kissed a Girl” from her album One of the Boys (2008) came true for me, and I wouldn't change it, nor do I want to!
I don't know what fate has in store for me, but today, I am a bi woman and a proud activist. I know that that little girl who played Sailor Moon would be very proud to see that in the end, I was able to be with many Tuxedo Masks and Sailor Mars in a free and visible way. I am bi and proud.
To all the bi people out there in the world, I want to tell you that you are not alone, we are becoming more and more visible, and our community is growing. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise.
With infinite love, Pato.