Love, Simon author Becky Albertalli has come out as bisexual.
The New York Times bestseller has published an essay detailing how she came to terms with her sexuality.
Taking to the internet, Albertalli took her stand against critics in a self-aware open article astutely titled ‘I know, I’m late’. Albertalli’s debut young adult novel, Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, catapulted her into the mainstream. Critics and her LGBTQ+ audience alike began to speculate about the writer lending her voice to aid the community.
In her Medium article, the American author unpacks the difficulties of navigating between allyship and ownership: “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,” she says.
2015 saw the release of Albertalli’s hit novel that put a queer character centre stage. Love, Simon has become a beloved cultural marker that has broken onto the big-screen achieving a box office breakout in 2018.
Since then, Albertalli has published a handful of young adult novels, including a sequel that explores the life of a closeted bisexual girl.
Still, the writer spent her time avoiding one glaring self-posed questions: “Why did you, a cishet woman, write a book about a gay teen boy? Why’d you work for ten freaking years with queer kids, Becky?”
Speaking on the attention of critics, Albertalli’s felt cornered by the conversations on her sexuality, saying: “I’d feel uncomfortable, anxious, almost sick with nerves every time they discussed mine.
“The attention and scrutiny were so overwhelming, and it all hurt so badly, I slammed the lid down on that box and forgot I’d ever cracked it open.”
It took time for the author to backtrack and retrace the realities of how she felt. “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… 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. It just never occurred to me that these feelings were attraction.”
It took time for the author to digest the new perspective on her past feelings. Closing off her personal essay, the American author apologised in her lateness in coming to terms with sexuality and labels. “All of this is to say: I’m bi. Sorry it took me so long to get here,” she said online.