I am a 23 year old female dealing with my sexuality. I want to be very blunt because I feel this is the only place I can be honest with someone else and with myself. I am very attractive and no one would ever think I was gay. I remember fantasizing about women from a very young age and as I got older I somehow turned it off. I started being interested in guys from the time I hit puberty. Then I started to notice that I couldn't find a guy that suited me. Not only that, but I didn't even like to be around men at all. I don't like attention from men. I don't like them talking to me because I always feel like they just want to sleep with me and that makes me feel scared.
Anyway, I almost got engaged 2 years ago but broke up with him instead. Not because I was gay but because I was interested in someone else. I was interested in a guy that I had only kissed once. He was the most prudish, non-threatening person I know. Maybe that’s why I liked him. Before all of this I had been with one girl and kissed a few others but never allowed myself to take it further.
Six months ago I met J, the sister of my best friend who is gay. I instantly wanted her. We went out a couple of times and we kissed one night, after that we started dating and have been together ever since. I love her to death but it has been really hard for me. I have contemplated suicide many times. I’m doing much better now though and haven't had a bad day in a long time - ever since I told my mom. She is fine with it. My problem is that I still don't know if I'm gay for sure. I love being with women and I am attracted to more than J. Sometimes I look at men too, and I dreamed about sex with a man the other night. I feel insane. J is 100% gay and has always known. She even has a lesbian look about her, but I don't have that.
I recently cut all my hair off. I’m afraid of being so messed up. I just want to know for sure. I can't talk to J about it because she is so sure and it scares her for me to be unsure because she doesn't want to get hurt…totally understandable. Sometimes I think that I won't be able to deal with being different and gross in some people's minds. My father doesn't know and will #1) blame himself because he's always been really mean and #2) disown me. I have a well known name in my town and he would hate for us to be represented by that. I am very experimental and have gone through many phases in my life. I don't want this to be a phase; I just want to feel good about myself. I’m not asking for miracles, just someone to talk to. Sorry this was so long but I had to get it off my chest.
It’s very common for people to be attracted to both men and women and it’s almost as common for many of them to feel “freaked out” at some point about it! We live in a culture that often finds it easiest to think in black & white terms and to have very clear ideas about how things “should” be. People are often threatened by what they don’t understand. This is one main reason for homophobia or anti-gay feelings and beliefs. But this can also mean that if your feelings (sexual or otherwise) don’t fit into an easily-understood place, you can feel “messed up,” as you report you are feeling.
It may be confusing for you now, but it is not unusual to have sexual feelings for both women and men. And you are not required to label yourself in any particular way if you are not sure! Other people may want you to identify one way or the other—because it is easier for them if you do—but that is their issue to resolve. Your job is to feel good about and be true to yourself—not to make things easier for others. You might be interested to know that there are increasing numbers of people who like to identify themselves sexually as “fluid,” which implies an identity that is not fixed, but instead is flexible and open to the possibility of change over time. Women, in particular, are more likely to report a “fluid” sexual orientation.
As we often recommend here at “Dear Trevor,” it sounds like you would benefit from having an objective, third party to talk to about what you’re going through. If you are not aware of any such resources in your area, call our Helpline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386). The Helpline listener can help you process your feelings as well as offer possible counseling and/or support options for you in your community.