Everyone’s coming out story is a different one and that’s what makes it so special! My bi coming out story might help you figure out your own storyline. If you prefer watching/listening, I have also made a bi coming out video!

So there I was, just out of a relationship of two years with an incredibly sweet guy. But he was not the right one. Not because he was a guy. 18-year-old me decided I needed to explore more and I dove right into the student life. I enrolled myself in an artistic and creative student association (kind of similar to a sorority, but different) and went to lots of parties. All the artistic and creative people I met were unapologetically themselves and didn’t care about what ‘the norm’ was. And I loved it.

Queer female photographer Maartje Hensen
What are you into? … cameras!

How I Knew I Was Bi

The free spirit of these artsy students caught me, and I discovered that there are more options than ‘straight’ and ‘gay’. I always thought: I’m into guys, that’s it. But now I learned, my sexuality is not that straight-forward.

And there it was: Tinder. I already knew of its existence (how could you not), but when I subscribed, I found out about the option to include women as love-interest.

Totally nervous, I started swiping. Interestingly – and a little disappointing – was that most of my matches were men. Maybe I looked too straight or something. I was having imposter syndrome (big time) and was feeling like ‘that straight girl experimenting’. My thought was that the girls on Tinder knew I was ‘faking it’.

And then I got a date; her name was Denise. She’s a cute girl from Aruba that I dated for a month. Honestly, she was not really my type and when I found out she was way more into me than I was into her – the box of chocolates delivered to my work gave it away, it was time to tell her how I felt. I just might not be into girls, I’m sorry.

Sexuality is such a weird thing, society had me so prepared for liking men, and I did like men – so what was the problem? Okay, had a try – not for me – let’s move on. Right? But you know, that’s not how it works.

Read our coming out tips

Maartje Hensen Bi Coming Out Story NYC Pride Rainbow Wings
Me being fabulously queer in NYC

Coming Out Bi

So, I made a mistake. I should’ve given myself more time. I should’ve allowed myself to be confused more. Because it is hard to figure out whom you’re a match with. Even straight people take forever to find their perfect match, right?!

While I was dating Denise, I had already told my mum and oldest younger sister that I dated a girl – on WhatsApp. I guess I was proud of it and wanted to ‘test’ their reactions. My mum responded “good for you, is it nice?” And my sister “oh that’s cool!” I guess they weren’t too serious about it and so was I.

I regret not taking more time to myself. But on the other hand, I have always been a person who deals with things by talking about it. And I trust these people to have my back no matter what. But in this case, already coming out as bi before I really knew, didn’t really help me.

At the same time, I also told my good friend Roxanne about me exploring my sexuality. And then she told me she thought she might be into girls too!

Fast-forward – spoiler alert – we’re together (read more about it in our love story).

It happened very unexpectedly – I had closed the women-chapter (or so I thought) after Denise. And then, I fell for my good friend. Maybe it was because she shared that she was into girls too – but I began to see her differently. All of a sudden I saw how cute she was. How amazing her smile was (and still is).

It’s not like my confusion was over. I was more confused actually, but she felt good and being together felt good. So I stopped thinking about labels and what would fit me best.

Lesbian couple Amsterdam Roxanne Weijer and Maartje Hensen lesbian love story
Rox and me in Amsterdam

So there I was, dating one girl exclusively. Time to get the coming out train rolling again. As we already lived together and invited my sister to live in our apartment as well, we had to tell her. “Ehhh… Fem… we’re….ehh… kind of together now.” And her response was: “yeah, okay, so?” And that was that.

My mum found out a pretty awkward way. On a day we went to a theme park, with the entire family, she was determined to get me out of bed herself.

The problem: I wasn’t alone in my bed and there wasn’t many sleeping garment.

My sister tried to prevent my mum from barging in, but without luck. That day she asked me “sooo… are you girls just that cozy?” And well, then I had to tell her.

Funny enough, she was extremely interested, she wanted to know what it was like with a woman and if I still am into guys too (she still asks me if I’m also maybe interested in a polyamorous-relationship). She also praised herself for raising me this open-minded. I guess it’s a good thing.

At that time I think I didn’t have a clear answer to the ‘into who are you now’ question. I told her: “I am not a lesbian, a bisexual, or whatsoever; I’m a Roxian, totally into Rox-only at this time”.

Happy queer girl Maartje Hensen twirling around on a beach in South Africa
Me, living my best life and travel all over the world

I am not too sure about how well my mum’s parents took the news. My mum told them, but when Roxanne joined my mum’s birthday dinner (after already 1.5 years of relationship), my grandma asked her: “oh, you could come too?” I think they’re okay with it now, but we don’t talk about it. I also don’t see them much.

Since my parents are divorced, I had to tell my dad at another moment. He heard the news when we were doing dishes together. I just told him – with weak knees, I admit – “so, you know, Roxanne? She’s my girlfriend now.” I’m not sure if it’s his incapability of multitasking or if it just was everything he wanted to say about it; he said “oh okay”.

The rest of my paternal family took it very well, but since my aunt is also into women I guess it is not a big deal (I mean, her story must be much more interesting than mine). As soon as they heard about Roxanne she was as much part of the family as any members.

Pansexual Coming Out

Over the last six years that Rox and I have been together, I have tried to make more sense of my sexuality. And while I love the word queer for myself, I know that is a little ‘vague’ and I have found myself very connected to both labels bisexual and pansexual. The meaning of these terms might feel different to people, and they do overlap.

Bisexuality to me, means attraction to more than one gender (bisexuality does no longer mean being into only ‘two’ genders).

Pansexuality to me, means to be attracted to people regardless of gender.

I can find people attractive, but I fall in love regardless of gender. I fall in love with a person – their character – I don’t fall for people because of their gender identity.

Being open about my labels has been a gradual process, I have not personally shared this with all of my friends and family yet. But I have started to correct people if they assume I am a lesbian, because I’m in a lesbian relationship. Your partner, or history of partners, is not an indicator of your sexuality, and it is important to make people aware of this.

Visibility is key. I never knew bisexuality and pansexuality existed, until I met people who shared their story. I hope that my story can help you on your journey. And it’s okay to ‘not know’ and figure it out over the years. Love yourself and don’t rush anything.

Read my big ass article on coming out tips for more tips that are helpful to all LGBTQIA+ people.

Thank you for reading my bi coming out story! Hopefully one day there will be no more closet to come out of. And we will all be loved and accepted the way we are.

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Bi Coming Out Story