How does a person know for sure if they are gay or bi? I have been toying with the idea that I could be one way or the other for some time now, but I feel like it could just be hormones or something. I really like one of my best friends, but I’m not sure how to tell if I just love her as a friend or love her more. To give you the basic idea, I think about her nonstop and even have dreams about her and would die to kiss her, but I honestly doubt she feels the same way. I am still attracted to guys if I think they are good looking, but I don't like them in the same way as I like my friend. I have one camp friend who I've talked to about this because she is the most understanding and accepting person I know, but even she can't really help because she has never been in a situation like this before. It is nice to have someone to talk to about it, though.
I know I don't have to know what I am now, since I’m still pretty young, but I just hate not knowing and being confused. For the past year I've been depressed; I was suicidal for a little while, but then my camp friend managed to talk me out of that. That’s probably why she was the one I went to when I had this other problem. I don't know if my depression and sexual confusion are related because I still haven't even acknowledged what I am yet, but I know there is something wrong with me or at least something about me that makes me different from all my friends. Is this all just some adolescent phase or is it more?
I know you are not going to want to hear this, but no one—not your parents, not your best friend, not a counselor, not anyone at The Trevor Project—can tell you what the “truth” is about your sexual orientation. Let me put it this way: would it really make a difference to you if I were to tell you, “Oh, yes. You’re gay.” Would that make you stop feeling confused? Would it change the feelings you have for your friend? I don’t think so.
Ambivalence (having more than one feeling about something at the same time) is one of the most difficult experiences people face—to use your words, “not knowing and being confused.” It is kind of like getting caught in a current in the ocean: you can’t just decide to not be swept up by it—and any lifeguard will tell you that if you fight it, you could easily drown. The best advice may be to try and relax, let the current take you where it takes you. Trust that you will eventually find solid ground and be able to walk out of it. In other words, maybe you just need to give yourself permission to not know “for sure” right now, and trust that you will eventually figure out what sexual identity makes the most sense for you.
The bottom line is, whether you eventually go on to identify as gay, bi, or even straight, currently you are having intense romantic feelings for your friend. Maybe what’s more important for you to decide right now is what—if anything—you want to do about that. You could talk this over with your camp friend, with a counselor (if you are feeling suicidal again, it might be a good idea), or with a counselor at The Trevor Helpline (866.4.U.TREVOR, that’s 866.488.7386). If you’re feeling ambivalent about whether or not you should call us, I will make that decision for you—CALL!