Imagine Steve coming out as bi and over the next three weeks he gets hundreds and hundreds of letters from kids, and adults, telling him that they’ve given them the courage to come out, and some of them tell him that they saved their lives.
Steve decides without telling the others that he’s going to come out. he’s disappointed at how little progress there’s been for people like him in the seventy years he’s been sleeping, but he knows that if he tells the others that he’s going to out himself on national television that they’ll talk him out of it. For good reason, probably. It’s going to be a nightmare for at least a few weeks after, but Steve’s prepared. He’s tired of the media acting like he’s some sort of bigot, like he stands for “traditional values” and “All-American” folks, whatever that means.
So, the next time he does an interview, he tells the reporter who asks him about Peggy that he doesn’t want to talk about Peggy. He wants to talk about Bucky, to talk about the handsome man he met in Paris once or twice, to talk about what it was like to live in the 40s and love men and women both and how terrible it is to wake up in a new millennia and have the world be just as blind.
The interview is live, and video of it goes viral rapidly. Clips of Steve saying that people’s insistence on the entire world being just like them reminds him of the Nazis, and he’s damned tired of seeing it in his own country. That he loved Peggy, wanted to marry her one day, but that he loved Bucky too- just quieter. That he doesn’t want to hide any more. “I’m Captain America,” he tells the camera. “I love this country, and I’m happy to fight for it. But I don’t owe it to you to pretend to be something I’m not just so that you’re a little more comfortable- a bit of discomfort goes a long way, sometimes.”
The interviewer tries a few times to get things back on track but Steve is relentless, and soon enough it is utterly undeniable. Captain America is bisexual and proud of it, unashamed to be who he is in the public eye. He’s not afraid to stand up for the rights of people like him and not like him, people of sexualities of all kinds, because he doesn’t believe in bigotry and he does believe in love.
The internet explodes. There’s a lot of fury in the news, a lot of angry protestors in the streets outside Avengers Tower, a lot of politicians talking about how Steve isn’t what Americans expected and maybe he’s not such an icon after all. Steve doesn’t much care about that. He cares about Natasha’s long-suffering sigh and Tony’s laughter, about Clint clapping him on the back, Thor lauding his courage while being utterly confused as to why someone would hate another person for loving one of their own sex. (Asgard has curious notions about sex and sexuality, Steve has learned. He’s not judging. They’re just strange.) He cares about Fury’s lecture about good PR, Maria Hill standing silent and very amused at his shoulder, and afterwards she pats Steve’s shoulder and tells him that he did good.
He did do good. Steve knows. He knows because he gets close to a thousand letters in the first five days from people all over the country. Some of the are angry, and he can usually tell which ones those are in the first few sentences. The rest though are heartbreaking, and amazing. He’s lucky that no supervillains decide to attack, because he spends almost three full weeks reading letters, though the stream slows a little after the first week. He gets a letter from a seventeen year old girl that is tear-stained and sloppily written, about how she had been thinking about killing herself because no one accepted her, but Steve coming out had changed everything. He gets a letter from a man in Arkansas who is bisexual and has been living with his partner for forty years, and everyone assumes he’s gay, but he’s not. He gets a letter from a woman who has been married to a man for eight years and finally had to courage to admit to him that she had loved mostly women before she met him. He gets a letter from a fifteen year old boy who thanks Steve for helping him come to accept that it’s okay to think about boys and girls both.
It’s not all bisexual people- he gets letters from gay people, from straight people with bisexual partners, from people of all kinds. He reads every letter that he possibly can. It’s astounding, the response. The Avengers eventually start pitching in to help, reading through the letters for a few hours each night, passing off the really good ones to Steve to read for himself, or reading parts of them out loud.
Six weeks after Steve comes out to the world, the team is gathered around with the day’s mail, and Tony sits back and says, “This is ridiculous.”
"Maybe," says Steve, "but you can’t say it isn’t important."
Tony looks at him for a long moment, and then says. “No, I guess not.” And then he goes back to reading the letter, and Steve just smiles and goes back to his. He feels free.