Miss Great Britain 2020 Comes Out as Bisexual

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday February 9, 2021

Jen Atkin, Miss Great Britain 2020, has come out as bisexual, according to Pink News.

An aviation administrator from Grimsby (approximately four hours north of London), Atkin won the 75th Miss Great Britain title last February. She is the first to identify as part of the LGBTQ community. Atkin told The Sun that in her teenage years, she enjoyed watching female wrestlers and has been attracted to both women and men ever since.

"I watched wrestling with my brother and I was obsessed with the divas in their tiny shorts. I would also fancy his girlfriends, which is something I've never admitted before," she said.

Atkin initially thought she might be a lesbian when she began dating a female neighbor at age 14. Afterward, she also dated men and was briefly engaged to a male paramour at age 22. Atkin came out to her mother after meeting her first serious girlfriend at a gay bar in Manchester, recalling, "I thought, 'I need to tell my parents. I need to tell my friends because I've met someone I really like and it's a woman and they might not understand.' I rang my mum. She was totally fine about it."

As Miss Great Britain 2020, Atkin wants to use her position to enlighten the public on misconceptions and stereotypes of bisexual people. She also hopes that by coming out, others might feel safer to do so as well, saying, "Even if it helps one person to open up to family or friends, it'd be such a good thing."

On the other side of the pond, Rachel Slawson became the first openly bisexual person to compete for the crown of Miss USA in 2020. Prior, Slawson had won the Miss Utah USA title, which she said "shocked" her.

The Miss USA 2020 crown ultimately went to Asya Branch of Mississippi. But Slawson's presence brought visibility to both her bisexuality and struggles with mental health into the competition, saying, "All I ever wanted is to save 15-year-old me's from the pain and struggle that I dealt with. Growing up, I didn't have a lot of role models and felt really alone, and I want young people to understand that their struggles with mental health are nothing to be ashamed of and are no different than other health issues."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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