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Being a teenager, bisexual, Catholic, and happy all at the same time: is it impossible? Well...

       At thirteen, when I came out to my closest friends, I had known for a while that I was different from most of the other kids at my Catholic school; after all, my parents, ex-hippies, imprinted me with the indelible mark of being a flaming liberal. Even before I realized that Padme was at least as gorgeous as Anakin in Star Wars, I wore a rainbow tie-dye t-shirt on free dress days at school to show my support for gay marriage. To be honest, my classmates didn’t care. The tiny school had the feel of a close-knit family, and to my friends, I was just another crazy sibling.

       At fourteen, I hit high school—not running, but face-first on a concrete floor. The shift from a class of 26 to a class of 160 terrified me, and rightly so. One day, during P.E., our grouchy old teacher bullied my best friend to tears. Afterward, in the locker room, I kissed her on the cheek—not because of any crush or hidden romance, but because we were best friends and because I couldn’t bear to see her cry. The next day, a gang of boys cornered us outside the gym and flung all sorts of epithets at us, “fag” and “lesbo” and things I’d never heard before. Now, if they’d just been aimed at me, I would have taken the insults, with tears, yes, but taken them. Those idiots aimed at my friend, too, though, and so I flipped my lid. “I don’t care if you think I’m! I don’t care! Maybe it’s true! Say whatever you want to about me, but never—ever—ever! let me hear you say that about my friend again, you freaks!”

       I went home, cried, and tried to hang myself. The only reason I stopped was because I didn’t want to disappoint my friend.

       At fifteen, I was a wild mix of rage, fear, and stubbornness. Four weeks into school, I went to the hairdressers and had the lady chop my hair just as short as boys wore it. When the boys started up their train of abuses again, I didn’t know what to do—and then the Confirmation class at church began. My church, both traditional Catholic and wildly liberal, became my outlet, my refuge. We are the Body of Christ, my Confirmation teacher said. We are all parts of His body. We are all a part of Him. We are all lovable because God is Love.

       Even the jerks?

       So I gave the jerks a second glance, and I slowly realized that the reason they attacked me for my sexuality was that they were insecure. I could empathize with their fear of being ostracized. Instead of fighting back or being afraid, I smiled and asked God for a little patience. As I kept my hair short and stood my ground, the girls in my class suddenly became my friends, and then the guys...

       On my sixteenth birthday, I wore a pink frilly dress and had pink cupcakes for lunch. In my room, my best girl friends and I giggled over the guys *and* the girls we liked. At school, the boys who once tormented me wished me a happy birthday. In my junior year, I’ve had both girlfriends and boyfriends. Has anyone questioned the fact that I’m bisexual? No. Do they know? Yes. Then why don’t they still hate me?

       Well, they never really did. When people attacked me for my sexuality, they did so because they were afraid of being unloved. When I tried to hang myself, I did so because I felt unloved. In truth, none of us ever should have been afraid. One Person always loves us because He is Love. I’m free to love whom I will because I’m just using God’s best gift to me. I’m closer to God than ever before because I’m not afraid to—well, to just love EVERYBODY I meet in whatever way I can.