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What am I?

Question:

Hi Trevor,
I’m really not sure what I am. Up until about a year ago I have always liked girls. But then it sort of just shifted, I started noticing this guy in my science class. I feel very attracted to him and dont know what to do. But I also like this girl as well. We are friends and I don’t if this attraction is just because we are really good friends or what. I don’t know if I’m bi or gay. I don’t have anyone I can really talk to, so I was just wondering if you have any advice. If this is just a phase or I’m actually bi or gay. Thanks

 

Answer:

 

Hi there!

Thank you so much for reaching out to us here at Trevor. It can be very confusing and even frustrating sometimes when you can’t make sense of your emotions. Just know that this is normal, and every person is different and experiences sexuality differently. Being gay is not always like it is in the movies. Some people are able to identify their feelings easily, while for others it takes more time and isn’t as straightforward, and that’s ok! It’s perfectly normal and acceptable to be unsure, so first, just close your eyes, take a breath, and give yourself credit for being open and willing to explore your feelings—that’s huge!

Discovering your sexuality is a unique and personal journey that is never the same for any two people. Some people do experience different “phases” or change sexual preferences over time, while others remain attracted to the same type of people throughout their lifetime. Sometimes, people attracted predominantly to one gender experience a rare occasion where they meet a special person of the other gender who attracts them as well, so it is hard for anyone to say what exactly this experience means for you. Only you can answer that question for yourself, and it may take some time and patience to figure out. In trying to understand your sexuality, it might help to remember that sexual orientation involves emotional and romantic feelings as well as physical feelings and attraction for people of a certain gender. It can help to think about whom you have crushes on and who you fantasize about being with—girls, boys, or both. If you find yourself feeling attracted to or fantasizing about girls primarily, you might be heterosexual or straight. On the other hand, if you most often feel these towards boys, then you might be gay. You could even feel romantic emotions and attraction towards people of both genders. This could mean that you’re bisexual. Some people even feel romantic feelings towards one gender but physical attraction towards the other, and only you can really identify what you’re feeling and figure out which makes most sense for you. You might want to check out some additional reading to help you sort out your feelings and think about questions that could help you figure it out. First, you might consider checking out this document on what it means to question your sexuality: http://www.pflagcanada.ca/pdfs/questioning.pdf. It might answer some of your questions about feeling unsure and confused. There is also a great brochure titled “I Think I Might Be Gay—Now What Do I Do?” (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=726&Itemid=516), which responds to some frequently asked questions to help you explore these issues and sort out your feelings. A great resource on bisexuality can be found here: http://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/BisexualityResourcePacket.pdf. In fact, www.pflag.org has many resources for Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG)—just click on the “Get Support” link at the left side of the home page and take a look around. Don’t feel rushed to figure out your sexual orientation; it is often a dynamic and lifelong process. Just remember, you’ll know when you know.

Although your sexual orientation is a personal and private issue, it can be overwhelming at times to make sense of your feelings on your own. It can be very helpful to talk to someone you respect and trust about these thoughts and feelings. You might consider discussing these feelings with a close friend or family member, or even a teacher or school counselor, whom you can trust and who will listen and help you sort out your feelings in a safe environment. Everyone experiences sexuality in different ways, so it might be helpful to take other perspectives and experiences into account to better understand what you are going through. Just as there is no need to rush to figure out your sexual orientation, there is also no need to rush to tell others if you are uncomfortable talking with them about it. You have the right to decide if or when you feel comfortable sharing information about your sexual orientation with your relatives, friends and colleagues. No matter what you decide, the important thing is for you to feel safe and comfortable. As you explore your feelings and decide what feels right for you, know that the Trevor Project is always here for you. If you have any more questions as you contemplate your feelings and identity, feel free to reach us here at www.thetrevorproject.org through Ask Trevor. Through TrevorSpace (www.trevorspace.org), our online social networking site for youth, you can also connect with other people your age who have had or are currently having similar experiences. Thanks again for reaching out to us, and we wish you the best as you continue exploring your feelings and identity!

With love and support,
Ask Trevor