Catie, 20, Stony Point, NY

Of the four kids in my family, I’ve always been the good one. All my other siblings are loud and friendly, and I’m kind of passive and keep to myself. I was kind of the dorky, outcast kid who read all the time, so I didn’t exactly have time for sleeping around or getting coked up at parties.

I didn’t have my first kiss until I went to college. I’ve never actually had a long-term relationship. There was this boy I really liked. I never dated him. I may as well have. We were hanging out every single day, holding hands, being cutesy-whootsy. But then I told him how I felt and he gave me this ridiculous, ambiguous answer. It just got uglier and uglier, and snowballed into a big ball of suck.

With that and this whole internal turmoil of not wanting to be a nursing major, there was so much drama going on. Things just got really bad. Honestly, the whole bisexual thing wasn’t on my mind. I had bigger problems.

The first big thing I ever did for myself was be a theater major. When I transferred to RCC, I was sitting down to register and was about to put nursing. Then I was like, “Hey Mom, what would you do if I put down theater instead?” and I thought she would rain purple hellfire. And she just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Whatever makes you happy.” That’s kind of how the whole sexuality thing went.

I had it in my head that being bisexual would somehow make me a disappointment to everyone. I’ve known I’ve liked girls since I was in eighth grade when I saw this girl who I thought was the most adorable thing ever. But I was like, “I like guys, I can totally cover this up.”

My little brother is actually gay. He’s been out since he was 14. He always dressed up in dresses and played with my Barbies way more than I did.

When he came out, no one was surprised or upset. But my parents are Catholic. There are 16 crosses in my house. There’s one in the bathroom for some reason. In my head, that somehow translated into, “They’re okay with my brother, but won’t be okay with me.”

I was wrong. My parents and everyone else I told have been totally fine with it. But I still felt conflicted. My mom and I were fighting about something and it just all came out. I said, “I’m tired of the fact that no one cares that I’m convinced I’m going to Hell,” and she’s like, “What?” And I just poured it out to her, crying. And my brother — the gay one — started hugging me. My mother is a very religious woman, goes to church every Sunday, all of that. She says, “The God I believe in wouldn’t do that to you. It’s such a small piece of who you are.” I cried like a little bitch.

I’ve only been out for two months, but I’ve never been this sure about anything. It kind of surprised me how sure I am about my sexuality.

I’ve always been kind of tomboyish, and have overcompensated by being obnoxious about shirtless men. Which I don’t have to do anymore. Am I still into guys? Abso-frickin-lutely. I want Matthew McConaughey shirtless. Actually, Matthew McConaughey needs a shower, and then I want Matthew McConaughey shirtless.

As told to Diana Scholl.
Photo by Laurel Golio, taken in Suffern, NY, 2011
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