I’ve only been in one relationship in my entire life. It was with a girl, and she broke things off after three months. After that, a few things began to change. I noticed attraction to some of the guys in my classes, and my attraction to girls began to diminish. To this day, I feel much more attracted to guys than girls, and sometimes it seems that I’m not truly attracted to girls. Sure, I can tell when a girl is beautiful, pretty, etc., but that’s all just aesthetics. I don’t feel the same way about girls as I do guys.
I came out to my mom as bisexual before I was even sure of anything, and she accepted me…somewhat. She said she had expected me to come out as gay. She said that “the way that I carry myself” and a few other things gave her the vibe that I was gay. A lot of my family thinks I am as well: stepdad, aunts, uncles, a couple of cousins, etc.
So my question is this: am I bisexual, or am I really just gay? Is there any way to truly know without my having been with a guy?
Thanks for any and all advice you can give.
Thank you for writing with your question. It sounds like you have a lot of items on your mind that you have been considering for awhile. The question you are faced with is a very complex one and there really is a set answer, but here are a couple of factors to consider.
First, while gay is traditionally defined as a physical and emotional attract to someone of the same gender this definition varies depending on who is using it. An important point is that sexuality is actually a spectrum and not just specific categories. So while terms like straight, bisexual and gay are primarily used, there are several other points on the sexuality spectrum that exist. It might be beneficial to do some personal research and see if there is another term on the sexuality spectrum that better describes your feelings. Second, as it seems you have already experienced sexuality can change and evolve over time as we become more aware of our own selves and emotions. You talked about how noticed your attraction to girls has diminished, which may or may not have anything to do with the gender of the person. There maybe be a trait or quality that is attractive to you and at this point in life, and you are interacting with more guys that have the trait than girls. So, the shift in attraction could be gender related but that isn’t the only possible reason. Third, the terms gay, straight, bisexual, etc mean different things to different people and in different areas. In many cases, people use various aspects of how someone display’s his/her gender as an indication of his/her sexuality. So when your move says “the way that you carry yourself” that may be more an observation about how you display the concepts of masculinity, which don’t have a direct relation to you sexual orientation. There are many people in society that don’t conform to the expected roles of masculinity and femininity who identify as straight, contrary to what people around them would guess.
Ultimately, the only person who can truly define your sexual identity is you, based on what you are feeling and experiencing within yourself. What is important here is to take some time to self reflect, find someone you trust to talk to, and don’t feel like you have to define who you are until you are ready. Once you have take some time to reflect on what emotions you are feeling you may gain some insight into what identity you what, if any, to use to describe yourself. You might find it useful to explore more information about sexuality and terms that go beyond the usually straight, bisexual, or gay. This source provides a few terms and examples http://www.nationalmecha.org/documents/GS_Terms.pdf. Most importantly don’t feel pressured to identify a specific way just because that is other’s perception of you. Your sexuality is a something very personal and you can decide how you want to label yourself, if you ever want to. The important part is that you have people around you that support you and care for you regardless of how you identify. Please know that if you have more questions you can always write us. Also, if you are ever feeling like you need someone to talk to directly or are in need of support you can also ways call the Trevor Helpline. I hope this gives you some perspective and support as you begin venturing down this path of self discovery.