At 17, I used my popping out journey to achieve clout on-line. As soon as I noticed my sexuality isn't content material, I deleted all my social media.

  • I got here out as bisexual on Instagram at 17 and filmed my first queer relationship for TikTok. 
  • I finally realized my sexuality should not be used for social content material and clout. 
  • I am now taking a yr off from social media to deal with myself.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit at a bizarre time for me. I used to be a junior in highschool and simply began popping out to shut mates. I used to be feeling increasingly more comfy in myself each time I mentioned the phrases: “I am bisexual.”

Since I used to be confined to my bed room, the one avenue to proceed my “journey” was on-line. I introduced my sexuality on Instagram and consumed countless queer media on TikTok.

I slowly started to appreciate I used to be utilizing my sexuality and sexual exploration as gas to create content material for social media. Now that I’ve deactivated all my accounts for a yr, I am lastly capable of deal with myself.

I began to discover my sexuality by watching queer {couples} on TikTok

The TikTok algorithm is full of movies tailor-made to the LGBTQ+ group, which is aptly named “Homosexual TikTok.” There’s tons of relatable content material about queer artwork, vogue, music, films, and TV reveals — plus tales about individuals’s private experiences with love and courting.

As a youngster caught in quarantine, it felt like there have been no limitations to discovering individuals who associated to my experiences. 

I fairly shortly received wrapped up within the lives of lesbian {couples} on TikTok who shared intimate particulars of their relationships for a whole lot of hundreds of individuals to see. Queer creators shared images and movies of themselves in an countless battle to obtain likes and feedback, attractive followers with how “good” their relationship was. 

For a younger, queer particular person like me with nothing to do however scroll, these creators made me really feel like the one solution to be queer was to do it loudly and publicly on social media. 

I made a decision to return out on Instagram

After months of obsessing over Homosexual TikTok, I used to be certain that I used to be bisexual. I imply, I match the entire on-line stereotypes: I listened to Sweater Climate by The Neighbourhood and cuffed my denims. 

I already got here out to my shut mates on Snapchat in a non-public story, however I used to be able to shout about my newfound sexuality from the rooftops. It was lastly time for me to interrupt out of the closet I might spent 17 years trapped in.

So I got here out. By posting on Instagram. 

I wrote, “Hello, I am bi” together with an image of me in entrance of a bisexual flag. It received greater than 600 likes and over 300 feedback. I used to be on prime of the world and eventually felt free. 

Once I received into my first queer relationship, I noticed it as one other alternative to make social-media content material 

I received right into a long-distance relationship throughout the pandemic — we met by and bonded over social media. What else was there to do?

a screenshot fo Jenna Bloom's coming out post on Instagram with her standing in front of a bisexual flag

Bloom’s coming-out submit on Instagram.

Jenna Bloom

Similar to all of the queer {couples} I noticed on TikTok, I used to be compelled to submit about my new relationship. I wished to flex my new “love” to the world. I spent our restricted time collectively targeted on filming the most recent TikTok pattern. 

My obsession with the web world shoved me right into a fantasy; I constructed a relationship in my thoughts that match the movies I had been consuming each day. I believed if my relationship regarded good on-line, it could keep good offline. I used to be very, very unsuitable.

I wished so badly to be a type of creators with an ideal relationship. However I later realized I wasn’t, and my relationship was removed from good.

I even posted TikTok movies after we broke up, poking enjoyable at my depressing scenario. Nearly each probability I received, I posted about my life on-line as a substitute of coping with it myself.

Greater than 2 years later, I am nonetheless grappling with the choice to make use of my sexuality for content material

For starters, I now see that popping out on social media might not have been the perfect concept. So many individuals in my life discovered by studying a submit. As an alternative of sitting my cousins down and telling them the information, they discovered on their Instagram feeds. As an alternative of hugging me, they joined a whole lot of different individuals congratulating me in my feedback part.

I used to be below the impression that I used to be releasing myself by going public. In actuality, I used to be simply shoving myself right into a field. I jumped to label myself and determine as bisexual, pushing that narrative out into the world — once I not often had any time to determine it out for myself. But when I’ve realized something since then, it is that sexuality is fluid, and I reject the concept I’ve to make use of one phrase to outline it.

Likewise, the movies I posted on-line are reminders of an individual I now not am. If I hadn’t deleted them, that interval of youthful messiness can be related to my on-line profile perpetually.

I am not saying I want I hadn’t come out. However I turned myself right into a spectacle — and my sexuality just isn’t content material.

I’ve determined to take a yr off from social media

Now I am embarking on a yearlong social-media cleanse. I deactivated my TikTok and Snapchat accounts, deleted my coming-out submit, and deleted the Instagram app from my cellphone.

With none entry to social media, it is good to know my sexuality is not a efficiency anymore.

Plus, I am content material with what I’ve: an in-person community of people that love and assist me. This yr is for specializing in myself whereas residing as my most genuine self — wherever that lies on the huge spectrum of sexuality.