Coming out as bisexual wasn’t a straightforward journey for Lili Reinhart, as it seldom is for many bi women.
Revealing this personal aspect about herself and her sexuality was met with some mixed feedback when the Riverdale star first made the announcement, earlier in the summer.
“Although I’ve never announced it publicly before, I am a proud bisexual woman,” she wrote underneath a flier. Reinhart, 24, was on her way to a rally held by the WeHo LGBTQ+ community, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, a time when the intent was for the focus to be on Black communities experiencing racism.
While some had questioned her timing (and even her motives), Reinhart was clear that it wasn’t a decision she made lightly. Speaking to the LGBTQ&A podcast recently, she shared, “I was afraid of coming out. I didn’t want people to tell me that I was lying to get attention or something. And so I just kept my mouth shut. Also, I’ve told people in the past and they’ve told me, ‘Oh, it’s a phase.’ And I’m like, ‘Okay, great, thanks.’ So that’s discouraging, obviously.”
Reinhart also didn’t want to come out while she was still in a relationship. Sharing her full sexual identity publicly until after her recent breakup with Cole Sprouse meant that she didn’t bring unnecessary attention and questions whether she was looking for something else, while in a hetero relationship. There was also another, more personal reason: “Because it’s easy for people to question, ‘Oh, but you’re with a man that’s straight.’ It’s like, well, Anna Paquin is married to a man, but she is bisexual.” This is just one common misconception about bisexual women.
Still, while coming out was not without its challenges, it’s also brought her many positives.
This is the first Bisexual Awareness Week that Reinhart is celebrating publicly, and it’s also allowed her to meet people she might not have otherwise.
“I did have a couple of ladies sliding into my DMs which I thought was funny, but also flattering,” she said. “It was interesting to see the difference in my DMs after I came out, which was a nice little surprise…And also just like, I hate to say it, more quality human beings.”