I’m very confused about my sexuality. I’ve identified as straight my entire life, but it never felt right. Whenever I had a crush or a boyfriend, he was always really feminine looking or acting. I kissed my best friend a lot when I was younger — we even drenched sometimes — and it felt totally natural.
Last year I started researching sexuality for some very odd reason (I think a role model of mine was transgender), and I started identifying as pan-romantic. I said I just like to cuddle. But in the past week I’ve totally lost interest in guys. I’ve had to dress like a boy (basketball shorts and Nikes) due to an injury, and I started to feel really in-character as a “guy.” I started watching “The L Word” and I’ve fallen in love with it. I research LGBT information all the time, but I’m still so confused. I’m not sure whether it’s just a bisexual phase or if I’m an actual lesbian.
The only thing that I feel really confused about is, sure, guys can be attractive, but I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM. I feel like I want to date and eventually marry a woman. I just can’t see myself with a male for the rest of my life, or even for the next couple of years. I feel like I don’t have any emotional connection or attraction to them. They’re just my dudes or friends.
Do you have any help or advice for figuring out my sexuality?
BTW, I will turn 14 in September.
Letter submitted by:
I appreciate your courage and openness in sharing your story with us. It sounds like you’re having questions about your sexual orientation and gender identity, and it might help to know that questioning these things is very natural and something that many, many people question. Some people are sure of their sexual orientation and gender identity as children, others as teens, while others continue to question this as adults. I’m so glad that you wrote to Ask Trevor for help and support with what you’re feeling and the questions you have.
I think it’s great that you are learning more about your sexuality and gender identity. As you learn more about how you feel, you will decide on a label that you feel comfortable with. Or you may not want any label. Either way, it’s your choice, and one that may change with time. There is no rush to choose an identity, and how you choose to identify now may change as you get older and have new experiences and influences.
When thinking about and trying to understand your sexuality, it might help to remember that sexual orientation involves emotional, romantic, as well as physical feelings and attraction to people of both genders (bisexual), people of the same gender (lesbian and gay), and people of the opposite gender (heterosexual or straight). It can also help to think about whom you have crushes on and who you fantasize about dating: girls, boys or both.
When it comes to love and the ideal of what we want from our partner, I think it’s important to understand that we can’t always choose with whom we fall in love. Sometimes it happens despite our best efforts. And that’s OK. Falling in love is never a bad thing. We learn best by being honest about our feelings with ourselves and our loved ones.
There are many resources available that could help you learn more about your identity. One of the best is Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). This is a great organization, made up of mostly parents, that promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through support, education and advocacy. If you go to PFLAG’s Web site (http://www.pflag.org), and click on the “Gay, Lesbian & Bi” or “Transgender” tabs at the top, they will provide you with links to information and support. This could be really helpful information to you, especially as you learn more about your sexuality and want to share it with the people you care about.
PFLAG also has local chapters in many cities across the Unites States, including one in Sacramento, which I believe is near Elk Grove. You can e-mail the Sacramento chapter at email@example.com to find out when and where they meet, if you think you’d be interested in attending a meeting or getting involved in the local community. You can also call them at (916) 978-0410.
Although you didn’t mention any family issues or problems at home, PFLAG has a lot of resources for the families of LGBT people. If you visit http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=539, there is a list of great resources for families that you can share with your family if you feel safe doing so.
You can also contact or visit the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center (http://www.saccenter.org), which hosts a lot of entertaining events for LGBT youth, including the upcoming “QProm,” which is an all-inclusive, safe alternative to St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. You can call or visit the center Monday through Friday, from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for more information, or you can sign up for its newsletter via the Web site.
On http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=730&Itemid=177 , you’ll find the brochure, “I Think I Might Be Lesbian…Now What Do I Do?”, which may help you with your questions about your sexuality. On www.bisexual.org, you’ll find a lot of helpful information on bisexuality. If you click on “Resources,” then “Bisexuality – General Information,” then “Bisexuality 101 from PFLAG,” you can find information that may help.
On http://www.genderspectrum.org/, you will find many resources related to gender identity. PFLAG’s (Parents, Families & Friends Of Lesbians & Gays) “Be Yourself: Questions for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth” at http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Be_Yourself_TT.pdf can be of further help as you try to understand your sexual orientation/gender identity. Remember that there’s no rush to figure this out.
No matter what happens, you can always contact the Trevor Project again through Ask Trevor. We also have Trevorchat, which is a forum in which you can chat with trained volunteers about anything that’s troubling you.
The Trevor Project also has an online social network at http://www.trevorspace.org. It’s an online community where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and straight youth ages 13 to 24 can talk with each other, provide support, and find resources in their communities.
The Trevor Lifeline, which you can reach by calling 1-866-488-7386, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the United States. There will always be someone there to help you talk more about the questions you have about your sexual orientation and gender identity.
I hope this information has been helpful, and I hope it works out for the best. Please contact the Trevor Project with any other questions, or just to let us know how everything goes.