Teenager cheered as he comes out as bisexual during live BBC debate
A teenager has come out as bisexual on live TV.
16-year-old Andy made the brave announcement for the first time during a BBC debate.
The show was discussing Generation Z – which the BBC has defined as people under 22 – and the findings of its survey of the different age groups.
It revealed that only two-thirds of 16 to 22-year-olds were solely attracted to the opposite sex.
This was compared to 88 percent of baby boomers and 85 percent of Generation X.
And one in 10 members of Generation Z were attracted to both men and women, which was more than double the number of Millennials who define in this way.
For Andy, the programme became personal when he stood up in front of an audience of his peers – and viewers at home – to declare something he had never said to anyone before.
“This is actually a really big thing for me,” he said.
“This is the first time I’ve ever admitted it in public: I am bisexual.”
“You’re doing amazing!” one person yelled as the crowd clapped and cheered.
“It’s been really difficult for me to come out at this stage, especially to people at school,” he continued, “because there is so much stereotyping and so many presumptions around it.”
He talked about “people assuming you are a certain way because of how you act, or because of who you’re attracted to, when in reality it’s something you can’t control.
“People treat it like you’re in the wrong, like you’re committing some kind of sin, when I’m hardwired that way.”
Former Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron resigned earlier this year after his election campaign was overshadowed by his refusal to answer whether he thought gay sex was a sin.
Even though he eventually said he didn’t think the act was sinful, the issue dogged him right up until polling day, when he lost thousands of votes in his constituency.
And Andy said: “It’s not something I can change.
“I truly believe it was the way I was born, and I’m sick of people telling other people [and] telling me I have to be a different way, because that’s not the way it should be.”
This prompted another cheer, which the presenter, Tina Daheley, followed by asking how Andy thought his parents would react to his announcement.
“I’m hoping they’ll be okay with it.
“It’s going to be really awkward when I get home, isn’t it?” he added, at least half-joking.
“But I think this is the easiest way to do it. Sitting down and having that conversation face-to-face is really difficult.
“Maybe I’ve taken the coward’s way out, I don’t know, but I think this is the easiest way for me to explain it and kind of accept who I am.”
He explained that coming out was “a multi-stage process, and it’s taken years for me to come to terms with it.
“I think telling other people is a really small part of that.”
Daheley asked whether Andy had imagined beforehand that he might come out at the debate.
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“No, hence why I’m shaking now,” he replied, laughing.
“But in a way it’s a relief, like I’ve been hiding something for years, and finally it’s okay.”
Watch Andy coming out below:
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) September 26, 2017