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'Love, Simon' author Becky Albertalli comes out as bisexual following criticism for 'telling LGBTQ stories'

"Let me be perfectly clear: this isn’t how I wanted to come out."

2020-09-01

Love, Simon author Becky Albertalli has come out publicly as bisexual.

The 37-year-old author, whose novel Simon vs the Homo Sapiens agenda was adapted into the hit 2018 movie starring Nick Robinson, has revealed she is attracted to both men and women after facing criticism from some quarters for telling LGBTQ stories despite being 'straight'. 

In an essay for Medium, Albertalli revealed that the public discourse around her identity had made her reflect on her own sexuality in recent years. 

 
 
 
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Happy birthday to the chill-less wonder, universe believer, and king of what ifs. 🥰

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"I’m thirty-seven years old. I’ve been happily married to a guy for almost ten years. I have two kids and a cat. I’ve never kissed a girl. I never even realized I wanted to," Albertelli wrote.

"But if I rewind further, I’m pretty sure I’ve had crushes on boys and girls for most of my life. I just didn’t realize the girl crushes were crushes.

"Every so often, I’d feel this sort of pull toward some girl I vaguely knew from school or camp or after-school dance class. I’d be a little preoccupied for a few weeks with how cool or cute or interesting she was, and how much I wanted to be her friend. 

 
 
 
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Dear book community: this was supposed to be my thing. Link in bio.

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"It just never occurred to me that these feelings were attraction."

The author, whose follow-up spin-off to Love, SimonLeah on the Offbeat, focused on a bisexual teen, added that her exploration of sexuality in her novels had led to her being accused of "the quintessential example of allocishet inauthenticity".

"I was a straight woman writing shitty queer books for the straights, profiting off of communities I had no connection to", Albertalli added.

She went on: "Because the thing is, I called myself straight in a bunch of early interviews.

"But labels change sometimes. That’s what everyone always says, right? It’s okay if you’re not out. It’s okay if you’re not ready. It’s okay if you don’t fully understand your identity yet. There’s no time limit, no age limit, no one right way to be queer."

The writer added: "Let me be perfectly clear: this isn’t how I wanted to come out. This doesn’t feel good or empowering, or even particularly safe.

"Honestly, I’m doing this because I’ve been scrutinized, subtweeted, mocked, lectured, and invalidated just about every single day for years, and I’m exhausted."

The nature of Albertalli's coming out echoes the uncomfortable discourse which surrounded the decisions of singer Rita Ora and actress Jameela Jamil to come out pubicly.

Ora opened up about her past experiences with women after receiving criticism for including lyrics about kissing girls in her song, 'Girls', while Jamil issued a statement clarifiying that she considers herself pansexual after being criticised for accepting a judging role on HBO voguing series Legendary.