18 AND LIVING WITH M.E
I knew I was attracted to girls at as young as 6-ish but did not really know it was a thing other people felt too, or what ‘gay’ ‘queer’ ‘bisexual’ etc. fully meant until I was about 13. I started to identify as queer, I came out as bisexual to a friend for the first time in 2016, and a few months later came out to my mum who told my dad for me.
My mum has always been super supportive of the lgbtq+ community and me in general, and we now watch queer eye and have open conversations about things together! My dad is not unsupportive or homophobic but my sexuality is something I have never really talked about with him. My grandparents are still unaware I identify as Queer/lesbian. Overall, I have been very lucky with my support system and my mum being so amazing and I try to be there for anyone in the lgbtq+ community who perhaps have not been so lucky.
I have chronic pain, anxiety & Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.). M.E symptoms and severity can vary in everyone but unfortunately, mine is severe and started after I got glandular fever in 2012/13. You can read more about the
condition & symptoms at Action for me.
The condition affects my day to day life in pretty much every way, some examples are; I cannot get out of bed, sit up, make meals independently so my mum is my full-time carer. I also struggle with loud noises, bright light, had to be home schooled & take my exams in bed & as we live in a flat, I have been housebound for around 3 years. It is a horrible, cruel invisible illness and more awareness and understanding is definitely needed by both professionals & the public!
I think people take for granted how difficult it can be to hold down a relationship when you have a disability. Friendships are extremely hard to maintain, as I am often not up to visitors and cannot go out & do things like ‘normal’ 18-year-olds. This does mean I am not really in contact with any of my school friends but I have some amazing online friends who are everything to me!
In terms of romantic relationships, that’s pretty much non-existent for me as I am not personally interested in dating apps or ‘online’ dating, although being single does not bother me at all. I am always open to new friends though!
Not every disabled person is comfortable or able enough to talk about their condition. To be more aware of people with disabilities I think people can actively research and educate themselves and follow online influencers who have disabilities and are open about them. Do not rely on the media and film portrayals of disability to educate you! Unfortunately, they are very inaccurate! Listen to the voices of real disabled people & what they have to say!
Bi Bookish Babe is my way of expressing my queerness and communicating with the world. I started my blog in January 2018! I initially started it, as a place for me to kind of let out my thoughts on all the books I was reading and never dreamed people from different countries would actually read it!
The most enjoyable part has definitely been that it has become a safe space for me, and a place I can find other people similar to me & be creative! As someone who has been housebound for 3 years, I often feel like I never achieve anything and blogging has changed that for me and given me a project to focus on! The only negative is that sometimes I now feel pressure to read certain books and books that are ‘popular ‘to fit in with other bloggers but I am learning to overcome that!
I have so many projects to share with you all. However, I have been planning a reading and art challenge celebrating lgbtq+ women throughout history to present with challenges based on their achievements etc.! It is taking place from June-August and I have never been this excited for a project before! You can find more details in my pinned tweet! There are tons of fun challenges & prizes to be won, so if you are reading this- please feel free to join in!
Words: Molly Llewellyn
Illustration: Ben Faulkner Gant
Sassify Zine - May 2019