How do I know if I’m bisexual? Also, how do I come out to people?
Good for you for being able to reach out to us here at Dear Trevor and ask for help. You’re obviously someone who knows when it’s time to ask for support, and that’s a great quality to have. It’s normal to feel confused about a complex issue like sexuality. It would be great if there were some way that we here at Dear Trevor could tell you exactly how to figure out if you’re bisexual or not, but honestly, the only person who can truly know the answer to that is you. The good news is that it’s something that you don’t have to figure out immediately. You can take your time and sort out your feelings at your own pace. If you feel attracted to both males and females, there is a chance that you might be bisexual. Questioning your sexuality is something that many people go through so you are definitely not alone. Some people are sure of their sexuality as children, others as teens while others continue to question this as adults. In trying to understand your sexuality, it might help to remember that sexual orientation involves emotional, romantic, as well as physical feelings and attraction for people of the same gender (lesbian and gay), people of both genders (bisexual) or people of the opposite gender (straight). It can help to think about whom you have crushes on and who you fantasize about being, guys, girls or both. www.outproud.org has some online brochures that may be of help. One is called "Be Yourself…Questions and Answers for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth" which takes you through many of the issues you may be facing as you try to understand your sexual orientation. 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 even more information that may help.
You might also visit the www.binetusa.org to learn more about bisexuality. Try not to put pressure on yourself. You’ll know in time and what’s most important is that you’re comfortable with you.
It's very natural to want to come out and let people in your life know about such an important part of you, namely your sexual orientation. As far as how to do it, it's important to find the way that's most comfortable for you. It can help to tell one person at a time and you don't need to tell everyone at once. It can also help to start with people that you really trust and feel comfortable with. You could start by telling each person how important they are and how you want to share an important part of your life. Some people are comfortable just saying their sexual orientation while others find it more comfortable easing into the discussion by first talking about a bisexual actress or character in a TV show, book or movie. There are some great online resources that might help get you more comfortable to talk to people about your sexuality. For example, OutProud has a brochure on its website www.outproud.org entitled, “Coming Out To Your Parents” which discusses issues you may face as well as possible questions and reactions they might have. When you decide to tell people, it might help to have information for them to understand more about bisexuality. PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is an organization that works to support LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people, their families and others (including friends) and helps family members and friends become more understanding and supportive of their loved ones’ sexual orientation. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on "For Family & Friends" where you will find some pamphlets including "Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People” which you could share with your family and friends when the time is right. PFLAG also runs support groups where LGBTQ people can discuss issues they're having with people in their life and where parents and others can discuss their feelings about a loved one's sexual orientation. On their website, you can find a chapter in your area. On www.outproud.org, you'll find another online brochure called "For Parents of Gay Children" which may also help your family be more understanding of your sexuality.
In terms of understanding your sexuality and coming out, it can be helpful to talk with someone you trust such as a friend, relative, teacher or school counselor. It can also help to talk with other bisexual young people to get support and learn things that helped them. If your school has a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) you might attend some meetings and talk to some of the people there to get some support and advice. You could also call the GLBT National Youth Talkline at 1-800-246-7743 or check out our social networking site www.trevorspace.org to connect with other LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 their friend and allies and talk to others who are familiar with what you’re going through.
You can always call The Trevor Helpline at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR 24 hours, 7 days a week. Our understanding and supportive counselors would be happy to talk with you about your questions. They answer many calls from young people who are trying to understand their sexuality and figure out if, when and how to come to people in their life. Remember that you don't have to go through this alone and that we're always here for you at The Trevor Project.