As part of a special series of poems, essays and articles dedicated to St. Valentine’s, Mary De Martino lets us in on the tricky journey to figuring it all out. 


When I was a child I always knew I was “different”. I always knew that I was attracted to boys, but also to girls, but when you’re nine you don’t think too much about it, because you’re a child, you have no idea whatsoever about sexuality. 

The years start coming and they don’t stop coming and Zac Efron and the Jonas Brothers were my crushes. But also Britney Spears , Lady GaGa and Kety Perry. I had no idea what the hell was going on. I was 11. People were talking to me about “boys boys boys”, as if it would be just basic or normal that I, as a girl, should and would be interested in boys only.

When I was 13 I realised, for the first time, that I might be bisexual. I’ve never been more scared my whole life. What the fuck is bisexuality? Well, after years of lived and sometimes very painful experience, allow me to be your bisexual guru. 

How did I find out? Well, I fell for a girl: she was a very dear friend of mine, but we haven’t spoken in years.
I think I realised I was into her because every moment with her became very precious and special to me and there was no other person I would think of, constantly. 

When I realized that, my first thought was ‘fuck’. 

“It cannot be” 

“This is just a phase” 

“This is just my fucking hormones fucking up my mind”

These are the things that I would usually tell myself, and frankly growing up and living in a very homophobic country (Italy, in case the de Martino in my name didn’t give it away) – didn’t help a lot I gotta say. I had never been more scared my whole life and I was only 13 years old, I had no idea who to tell, who to talk to. When I told 2 of my friends that, they were, let’s say not very supportive.  They just went with the flow of things, I guess. But then they understood and accepted me for who I am and I am more than glad about it.

A year had passed and one day, after a school strike, I asked this girl out as we would usually do every Saturday afternoon and then I told her. That was my first real heartbreak.  I had never felt weaker, and the worst? I couldn’t tell my parents because they didn’t know. They still don’t know, and, although I try so hard not to think about it I feel like a coward. Why haven’t I still found the guts to tell my family what I really am? I guess I already know the answer too well: not being accepted. 

That scares the shit out of me, so I keep that with me. I don’t think it would be a problem for my family now, but still, there is something that keeps me from saying this. And I think that the reason why I don’t wanna tell my family is because it’s none of their business.

Since I understood what “was wrong with me” I’ve been dating both sexes. You know what people would tell me when I was dating my first girlfriend? “Oh. So you’re a lesbian now?” No, I am not, I still like dick, but I want to be with this person now and by coincidence, this person happens to have a vagina. Scandalous!


Or when I was dating this guy, people would tell me “You’re straight again”. Again. What the fuck am I? A  t-shirt? I don’t’ need to be straightened, thank you, I am a human being. 

What I am trying to say? I have no clue, but here are some things I wish you knew:

  1. Bisexual people belong in the LGBT+ community. That B doesn’t stand for bananas or butterflies. Stop biphobia, stop building up stereotypes on bisexual people.  We need to support each other.
  2. Stop saying that bisexual people are more likely to cheat on their partners, because- I mean do I need to explain that one? 
  3.  Stop fantasising about threesomes. Bisexuals do not exist to oblige your sexual fantasies. The fact that we like both sexes, doesn’t mean that we want to do both sexes at the same time. There’s a slight difference there. And if some of us happen to like threesomes, even better (winky face).
  4.  Stop saying that “People cannot be bisexuals, you’re either A or B”, Well honey, I got news for you because I happened to be C but someone else can be H or J.
  5. Stop bombarding us with “It’s just a phase”. What’s it to you? Just listen and Let It Be.

I don’t remember who, but one person once told me “You get the best out of both worlds”(I swear to god this is not a Hannah Montana reference), and I said “Yeah. Yes you’re right. I do get the best of both worlds here”. Truth, but to quote Lizzo, ‘Truth Hurts’.