- For years, I second-guessed my bisexuality.
- I took “magic” mushrooms in an attempt to analyze my sexuality.
- Ironically, I learned I needed to stop pondering my orientation and just accept myself.
Despite identifying as bisexual from a young age, I constantly second-guessed my sexual orientation.
So I decided to do something about it. In 2018, I took psychedelic mushrooms with the intention of analyzing my bisexuality, but I ironically learned that my overthinking was the problem — I needed to practice acceptance, not introspection.
For years, I questioned my orientation
When I learned that bisexuality was a thing, something clicked for me. I was in high school, and I felt attracted to both girls and boys. It was a relief to know I wasn’t the only person who felt this way.
But soon after I learned that bisexuality existed, I was bombarded by messages from society that it was not real — bisexual people are actually gay and afraid to fully come out, bisexuality is an excuse to be promiscuous, and women claim to be bisexual only for attention.
I knew these messages were rooted in biphobia and bigotry, but emotionally, I wondered whether they were true. I began to question whether my orientation was “real” or I was lying to myself. Even after I came out to my family and friends at 20, I wondered whether I was lying to them.
I constantly second-guessed my feelings of attraction and love, no matter the gender of my partner. This constant rumination exhausted me — I felt like I was at war with my own identity.
Psychedelics offered me a lifeline for my depression and PTSD
When I took “magic” mushrooms for the first time at 22 years old, my mental health was in shambles. I was chronically depressed, and I struggled to feel joy even though I had every reason to be happy.
The mushrooms changed that. During my first trip, something clicked in my brain, and I could finally see the beauty in the world around me. For the first time in months, I started to feel genuine awe and joy. This experience gave me the hope I needed to start working on my mental health.
Magic mushrooms, as well as psychedelics in general, are not without their risks, but the research into the benefits of psychedelics is promising.
Later, I had mushroom trips that helped me cultivate empathy, practice forgiveness, and harness creativity. While I took them infrequently, they made a significant difference.
Still, though, I questioned my sexual orientation. The constant overthinking was weighing on me.
I wondered whether shrooms were the answer. If psychedelics were so helpful for my mental health, I thought maybe they could help me understand my bisexuality, too.
Shrooms taught me I needed self-acceptance
One afternoon, I took shrooms with my friends for the fifth time. I was 23 years old. As the effects began to take hold, I saw an iridescent glow around the objects near me and rainbows in the spaces where shadows should be. The wood grain on our floors seemed to be moving like they were little rivers running up and down.
With intention, I began thinking about my orientation: Was it really love that I was feeling when I thought I was in love? The people I was attracted to — was I really attracted to them, or was I imagining it?
I took the mushrooms intending to explore the questions that had plagued me for over a decade — only to find that I was going about it all wrong.
As much as psychedelics can be good for facilitating introspection, sometimes analysis isn’t the answer. Overthinking wasn’t going to clarify things for me because it was what made my perception fuzzy in the first place.
I was staring at a heart-shaped leaf when I arrived at this conclusion. For about half an hour, I wondered why the leaf had formed in that shape, how the tree species had evolved, and how photosynthesis worked. Then a realization hit me: My overthinking was stopping me from savoring the joy of simply being in nature.
I had always thought of my analytical and inquisitive nature as a strength. In a way, it is. But sometimes, it stops me from appreciating the beauty around me for what it is — whether that beauty is a leaf or being genuinely besotted with someone special.
I needed to stop thinking and simply accept.
I’ve moved from ruminating into genuine self-acceptance
While coming out is typically seen as a pivotal event in a queer person’s life, the most significant moment in my journey to self-acceptance was the afternoon I tripped on shrooms in my sitting room holding a random leaf to my chest.
I still occasionally overthink my orientation, but I’ve finally figured out how to let those thoughts go. Instead, I try to savor the beauty of being queer: the community I have, the relationships I’ve cultivated, and the trust I’ve built in myself.