Bi and Ally
by Anastazia Westfall
I came out as bi my sophomore year at BYU. While there were negative experiences, I was surprised at how well so many people directly around me reacted. My time at BYU wasn't easy, but, with the love and encouragement of others, I learned to love myself more wholly for who I was.
I think it helped that I was a sociology major. I also recognize that I was blessed with a loving and supportive family. I had the opportunity to marry a man more supportive than I could've ever imagined, who stood by my side at protests and offered our house for those who came out when BYU glitched and acted like a safe space before immediately taking it back. I'm sad how many classes I had to stand up in to correct misunderstandings, misconceptions, and just flat out phobia, but I'm glad I was willing to speak up while I was there to try and make it a safer place for those who continue to come after me.
I graduated in April 2021, and we moved away from Utah and now have a baby boy. I still make sure to talk about my identity as bi as often as the opportunity comes up, so that someone out there who feels alone, knows they're not. BYU has beautiful, wonderful people, but like most places, it also has a lot of jerks. Being an ally in word and deed, public and private, will continue to encourage love and eliminate the hate so that those who don't fall into the standard heterosexual, cisgender norms know that they are loved and have a space to not only exist, but to thrive.