Eliel Cruz is an articulate, passionate voice in the world of bisexual activism. He’s a prolific journalist and vlogger, and I was delighted to include Eliel in my recent 5 Great Bisexual Blogs article.
Here’s my interview with Eliel. I hope you find it useful. As Eliel says, ‘Bisexuality is valid, your experience matters, and most of all you matter.’
-How did you come to identify as bisexual?
Eliel Cruz: I didn’t know what bisexual was until I stumbled upon the word when I googled “I like boys and girls.” I was 11 and super excited to finally understand my sexuality. At the point, I thought you had to “choose” between being gay or straight one day. So I came out to myself at 11, then came out to friends and family around 14.
-What are the main factors that have contributed to your sense of wellbeing as a bisexual person?
I think writing has helped me heal a lot. I used to write diaries when I was young to keep myself sane. Now, as an adult, I write through the things I have gone through and continue to go through on huge platforms. This allows me to connect with thousands of bisexuals who have similar stories to me from across the world. This community and knowing that I’m far from alone helps me tremendously.
-Can you share a coming out story?
My coming out story is complicated. I came out to friends at a private Christian academy during my freshman year of high school. After I came out word got out to my school’s administration. I was “asked to leave.” This made me come out to my family but it was quickly swept under the rug. I came out when I was 18 to my family when I was on my way to college. They have always been loving and accepting which has helped ground me and deal with biphobia.
-What advice would you give to someone who thinks they might be bisexual and are unsure what to do?
There isn’t a rush. Don’t feel like you need to ID a certain way under a certain time frame. Educate yourself in the definition, and history, of bisexuality. Perhaps most importantly, know you’re not alone. There are many others out there with similar experiences. Bisexuality is valid, your experience matters, and most of all you matter. Find community, whether in person or online, and always reach out to bisexual activists or organizations with any questions you may have.
Eliel Cruz is a speaker and writer on religion, (bi)sexuality, and a culture critic. He reports regularly for The Advocate and has a column on the intersections of faith, sexuality, and gender at Religion News Service. His work has also been found in the Huffington Post, Mic, Sojourners, Washington Post, Patheos, Everyday Feminism, DETAILS Magazine, Rolling Stone, VICE, and Slate.
He’s the co-founder and former president of the Intercollegiate Adventist Gay-Straight Alliance Coalition, an organization that advocates for safe spaces for LGBT students at Seventh-day Adventist colleges. He has a BBA & BA in International Business and French Studies from Andrews University.