I Don't Know What My Sexual Orientation is

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Question: I Don't Know What My Sexual Orientation is

After friends put pressure on her, a teen who finds herself attracted to people of various genders, becomes concerned that she doesn't know what her sexual orientation is.

Answer:

A teen posted this in the community forum:

Many of my friends think it's kinda weird that I'd be confused over my orientation. But I can't tell if I'm a lesbian, bi, or something else. I can tell if a dude or a girl is attractive, but it's difficult for me to tell if I'm attracted to him/her. (Does that make sense?) I've rarely had a crush, and whenever I did it was usually for another girl, but I've never dated anyone. Not only that, but I wouldn't mind dating an intersex or transgendered person. Help! I'm 17 and I still don't know what my sexual orientation is!!

First off, there is no timeline which says you need to figure this out now. But it can be really frustrating to have unanswered questions about yourself.

Some people know they are gay, lesbian, or bisexual from early childhood. For others, realizing a GLB sexual orientation happens much later. It is perfectly normal for teens to question their sexual orientation. It is also normal for teens to have sexual feelings for same and opposite gender partners. These feelings may be an indication of someone's sexual orientation, or they may not. Only time will tell.

If you think you might be a lesbian, here are some things to ask yourself:

  • Who do you usually have crushes on? Is it mainly someone of the same gender?
  • Do you imagine relationships with someone of the same gender?
  • If you dated or had a sexual experience with someone of the opposite gender, how did it make you feel?
  • If you dated or had a sexual experience with someone of the same gender, how did it make you feel?

    If you think you might be bisexual, you can ask yourself these questions:

    • Do you feel strongly attracted to people of both genders?
    • Do you think you could have a sexual or romantic relationship with either males or females?

    Asking yourself these types of questions can be helpful, but don't worry if you don't know the answers right now.

    Would you be worried about labels if your friends weren't gatting on your case about this? As one reader points out, this seems like more of an issue for them than it is for you! As he says, "It sounds like your friends are uncomfortable with not being able to put you in a box with a nice neat label. That’s THEIR issue, not yours. Ultimately, you’re YOU, and whether you like girls or boys or both, unless they want to date you, why should it matter to anyone else?"

    But even if it does really matter to you, remember, there is no set time you need to figure this out an no one way to be lesbian, or bisexual.