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On Being a Baby Bi Moonie
By Ghia Vitale
People might call me strange for saying this, but when I look back, noticing anime girls was one of my earliest expressions of queerness. Even as a young child, watching Sailor Moon made me aware of the sapphic attraction that’s always been inside of me.
Sailor Moon is one of the most popular anime shows of the ‘90s. At the very least, it’s one of the most iconic magical girl anime in existence, taking girl power to a new and majestic level. This anime is known for championing a powerful vision of femininity, featuring positive queer representation, being inclusive of trans and gender non-conforming characters. For an old school anime show, it’s particularly inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. Many people argue that Usagi Tsukino is bisexual representation in her own right. For instance, Anthony Gramuglia breaks down Usagi Tsukino as a bi character in Sailor Moon: Usagi Tsukino Is One of Manga's Best Bisexual Characters. It was this article that got me thinking...
… Now that it’s Pride month, I need to confess something to the internet that will probably shock no one who knows me well: Sailor Moon was one of the first hints of my queerness I received loud and clear early on in my life. So much, actually, that my attraction towards the sailor scouts almost outed me at one point.
Combine that LGBTQ+ friendliness with anime girls who kick ass in mini skirts and wham! You’ve got the perfect equation to make a young queer girl realize, “Hey! Girls sure are hot!” It’s me. I was that young girl at age 6 or so, waking up during the wee hours of the morning to watch Sailor Moon and see the sailor scouts, excited to bask in the fluttery feelings and sensations they elicited in my younger self.
You see, when I started watching the DiC dub on television, I perceived the sailor scouts as so grown up. In retrospect, I realize that they were middle school students, but as a child, they seemed so much older than me. In fact, I thought they were actual adults in their superhero form and figured that’s why people couldn’t recognize them in their sailor senshi forms. In a way, the senshi were giving me a glimpse into the women, femmes, and the qualities I would find attractive in them later on in life.
Don’t get it twisted: I had a crush on all of the sailor scouts. Nonetheless, I had the biggest crush on Sailor Mars. Out of all the sailor scouts, Sailor Mars influenced me as a witch, but also as a basic archetype of what I find attractive about the women and femmes I’m drawn to. Even as Rei Hino, a simple middle school student and shrine maiden, she has a fiery and intense quality to her personality, a quality I’ve noticed I’m still attracted to now. She also had long, black hair, another physical feature I tend to gravitate towards. I would be lying if I said her legs and high heels didn’t grab my attention. It was one of the first times I noticed myself being attracted to a strong feminine character, a pattern that would repeat itself throughout my life.
Another character I had a bi fixation with was Queen Beryl. I saw her as this dark goddess who’s both alluring and fatal, depending on which of her aspects you draw upon. I see her as one of the first goth chicks I was ever interested in. To this day, Queen Beryl is one of my favorite queens of darkness.
I was obsessed with Sailor Moon, but I was able to hide my sapphic attraction to its characters for a while. The adults in my life figured it was just another niche interest when I was actually fawning over the sailor scouts. They were some of my very first girl crushes and I’ll always be grateful to them for that. However, I did accidentally make my attraction to the sailor scouts known at one point.
One day, my dad and I were at the mini-mall in Port Jefferson, Long Island, looking for a Sailor Moon poster I could hang in my room. We had already looked in a few stores and I was getting eager. Then all of the sudden, I looked up to the corner of the store and saw a poster of the sailor senshi clad in bikinis. Wanting it felt like a matter of bi instinct rather than pure fandom interest.
“Oooh! I want that one!” I said as I pointed to the poster. Once my dad saw it, he immediately said, “Uh, no. That one’s not good. Let’s find a better one.”
But that’s the thing: I wanted that poster! Later on, I eventually settled for a poster that featured the senshi in their uniforms instead. But I’ll never forget how that poster of them in bikinis immediately captured and held my interest. The moment completely went over my dad’s head, but looking back, I see it as an early expression of my bisexuality. What else could it possibly be?
As I grew older, my attraction to women and femmes became more noticeable. When I was in 5th grade, I noticed my attraction towards girls growing stronger to the point where I could no longer deny that I looked at them with lustful and romantic intentions. By the end of 6th grade, I concluded I was bicurious, only to realize I’m definitely bisexual by the beginning of 7th grade. At that time, I remember looking back on my Sailor Moon fascination and thinking, "Wow. That wasn't heterosexual at all."
Now, I mostly crush on Sailor Lizzo, catgirls, and goth girls.
I wish I had noticed my attraction to the sailor scouts for what it was (queerness) while it was happening. I knew they mesmerized me, but they were one of my first tastes of sapphic magic, so I wasn’t entirely aware of it while it was happening. For this reason, I celebrate Sailor Moon as one of the most influential anime series I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
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