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Photo ofCarly Wells

I think we’ve all at least heard of the show, Stranger Things. The show for me released its first season when I was in eighth grade and it was a hit show. Everyone at school was talking about it so of course I needed to start watching it. But while watching the show, I felt probably different than anyone else in my grade had felt watching it. Nancy Wheeler, or Natalia Dyer if we wanted to use the actresses name, was so much more attractive to me than anyone else in the show. I felt, towards her, the way I knew I felt about guys in the past. Which of course, for a 14-year-old girl who has thought she was straight for her entire life, was pretty confusing. So I did what any kid my age would do and I turned to the internet. That’s not always the best idea, but it actually was pretty helpful for me in this case. Days, weeks, maybe even months, I spent researching different sexualities, what they meant, and thinking to myself; am I actually attracted to girls? I knew I still liked guys and felt myself wanting to date a guy, but after watching Stranger Things I thought maybe I would want to date a girl too. It’s not something I had ever really thought about before as being a possibility to date both genders. As I was thinking and reminiscing, I realized there’s a funny thing that happens whenever almost anyone starts questioning their sexuality, you’ll look back at people you were friends with in the past and when you were younger and have this like aha! moment. For me, it was with girls from like dance, swim, and school that I realized I didn’t just like them as a good friend, I actually had a crush on them. I will still have moments like that to this day. It was after this that I concluded to myself that I am bisexual. I had this impending doom kind of feeling that I now had to tell people. Which honestly can be terrifying no matter what. I thought that if I told my friends, they were going to think I was faking it. Like they were going to tell me no, you’re not. It felt like I didn’t act the way someone who was bisexual acted, I just didn’t fit as someone who was actually bisexual. Yet, while I’m having this internal struggle knowing I have to at least tell someone, I started crushing on this girl in my art class. She sat directly behind me. She did kind of resembled Natalia Dyer, so clearly, I had a type. But it was just one day after school that I just blurted it out. I just thought enough is enough and I need to tell someone. I told my best friend at the time at our shared locker by just saying, “I am bisexual.” I felt safest with her because she identified herself as pan at the time and I remember her face just lit up. She got the biggest grin on her face, gave me a hug and said, “Carly I’m so proud of you.” Just feeling accepted by at least one person and knowing she would be in my corner no matter what. No matter who else I told that may not have accepted me, it gave me so much more confidence in myself. It grew throughout time as more people had similar reactions for me that you don’t have to fit a certain stereotype to be a certain sexuality. You simply are who you are, and you love who you love. There’s no certain way you have to be to identify the way you feel you are, and you will always have at least one person that will be in your corner.

© Carly Wells. All rights reserved. If you are interested in quoting this story, contact the national team through this website and we can put you in touch with the young person's teacher.