In the next in a series of animations telling real stories of LGBTI Australians in rural areas, we meet Jesse, who is bisexual.
Voiced by Vincent Cornelise, Jesse lives on neither side of the gay/straight fence, but has to deal with the stigma that comes with being bisexual from all communities.
“In primary school I knew I was attracted to the same sex, but I also knew I was attracted to the opposite sex. I never really had anyone to talk to about it,” he explains.
“High school was hard. It was a very homophobic environment… I began asserting my own individuality in an aggressive way as a tactic to stay safe.”
The National Institute for Challenging Homophobia (NICHE) has been collecting hundreds of everyday LGBTI stories from regional, rural and remote Australia. The YourStory Campaign tells some of them in an animated format thanks to the art of cartoonist Kenton Penley Miller, filmmaker Jonothan Duffy and more.
“Coming out as bisexual has been mostly quite negative,” Jesse says. “I’ve been quite shocked by the lack of understanding from the gay community, and from girls. So many people insist that I must be gay or that I am going through a phase. When I come out as bisexual to gay male friends there seems a lot of judgment. As far as I’m concerned I don’t have time for judgmental people.
“Its so boring trying to fit into a box all the time, I think people who focus on labels compromise themselves, just to fit in.
“If life was black and white, we would miss out on all the pretty colours of the rainbow.”
Watch Jesse’s cartoon story below.