So I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw a post with a list of people for which the fact that they were/are bisexual has been erased from the media. One of those people was Anne Frank. I assumed the post was fake, since I have read her diary and it says nothing about it there. So I did some digging and here’s what I found out.
- She was in fact, bisexual. She wrote about it in her diary but when her father edited it, he omitted that, among other details.
- She described her crush on her friend Jacqueline, how she was extremely curious but Jacqueline made sure she was aware they had boundaries. And as Jacqueline survived the Holocaust (her mother removed signs of their religion from the records) she also described how Anne understood and accepted those boundaries, which strengthened their friendship.
- Anne also crushed on Peter van Pels (better known as Peter van Daan) during their time together in the Secret Annex. Fortunately, their relationship would have been accepted or even welcomed at the time, much unlike the idea of a relationship between Anne and Jacque.
- Other parts of Anne’s diary were not published until recently, as in the 1940’s they were considered too sexual to publish in a book for young adults. It is likely that Otto Frank saw that he wouldn’t be able to publish a book with details on Anne’s more private, intimate ideas.
- She wrote about the changes in her body that she noticed during puberty, how she felt about it, and her inquiries about the matter. She wrote about her most honest, frank opinions and remarks about the people she was living with, including complaints about her parents’ tendencies and sharp critiques of the van Daans. Her father chose to omit these out of respect for the dead.
- A new book has been published with nothing omitted, and some schools even use it in their literature classes. Unfortunately, some more conservative parents see this as too descriptive, but the other side of the argument is that Anne Frank was a normal girl who wrote about normal, natural aspects of the human experience.
It is important to have literature so honest and realistic as the diary of Anne Frank because we must stop promoting the idea that young girls should be ashamed of their body and changes during puberty. We should instead be teaching them that it’s natural to be curious and make sure they have access to more books involving girls’ experiences during adolescence. And I mean the realistic ones, not the whole “girl likes a boy, he doesn’t like her back, she gets a makeover and a new, more extroverted personality and voila, he falls madly in love” or “a girls gets her first period and she quickly learns to hide away her pads so as not to damage the frail male ego”. More stories should teach young girls about normal experiences of growing up, not dumb Hollywood fantasies.
Much of the info in this post was taken from the following websites,
and the book “The Diary of a Young Girl: the Definitive Edition” by Anne Frank, edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler.