I'm questioning my sexual orientation

Questions and discussion about your sexuality and how it's a part of who you are as a person.
DoodleBob
newbie
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:46 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm kind and I want equality in the world.
My primary language: English
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My sexual identity and orientation: REALLY confusing (idk straight, bi, pan, bi-curio)
Location: United States

I'm questioning my sexual orientation

Unread postby DoodleBob » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:45 pm

Hi, DoodleBob here! I'm in need of some help/advice and I don't have anyone in my life to confide in at the moment. I'm a girl and I'm headed to college in a few weeks, hope that's okay to say on here, and I've been questioning my sexual orientation so much for about...several months. Am I straight? Bi-sexual? just Bi-curious? I don't know, this is hard for me. Labels are hard for me but confusion is also just as hard. These feelings probably started when my high school friend, A, came out as bisexual and immediately afterwards I told her I was bi-curious. I've been going back and forth as bi curious and bi sexual since graduation and now I'm just frustrated and more confused. I told another girl, J, I had feelings for her because I knew that she was into girls as well, is going to my college, and I thought she was really cute and I wanted her to like me but she rejected me because she has a relationship going on. I feel really lost right now. Just to mention, sometimes I deny that this confusion is even happening, like self-denying. I'm constantly fighting with myself to even admit that I'm thinking about this and having these feelings, attractions and fantasies. Maybe I'm scared of the labels. Plus, my family is accepting - as long as it's not their kid. Hah, how silly is that logic. I could never tell my parents.. I'm going to try to list some questions that I have to hopefully get a more constructive response:

-How can I tell if I am straight or Bi-sexual? Are there any tale-tell signs or hints?

-If I'm bi-curious, how can I go about figuring out if I'm Bi-sexual or straight?

-How would I properly go about trying to "experiment" with another girl? I don't want to offend anyone by trying to "experiment"

-How do I know if others are bi-sexual, questioning, curious, lesbian etc? How could I breach that conversation without being intrusive or weird?

-Why do I go through periods of self-denial about this issue? How can I help myself stop self-denying?

Last but not least, thank you so much for spending the time to read this, it means a lot to me. Thank you :)

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
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Re: I'm questioning my sexual orientation

Unread postby Heather » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:30 am

Welcome to the boards, DoodleBob. :)

I'm going to answer all of these in the most basic, broad, and simple way possible, just to kind of get right to the heart of all this. Then we can talk in more detail from there as you'd like to!

What people mean when they identify as bisexual is generally some variety of "I can experience sexual attraction to people of more than one gender." So, the "signs" would be experiencing that and wanting to call it bisexuality, in a nutshell. How you figure out who you are attracted to is just by observing your own feelings over time; over a lifetime, really.

If by "experiment" you mean you want to have a sexual interaction with someone outside of an ongoing relationship, or an intended romantic relationships, then that's what you tell them you want so that can be a choice both of you gets to make. That way, too, you aren't likely to be having casual sex with someone who doesn't also want that.

(How you find out the orientation of others is by them telling you, and by doing your best to only ask someone for that information - if they're not volunteering it - when it's really information that's actually relevant to you and are in a position of intimacy with someone for that to be appropriate. This is a bit more complicated than the other stuff here.)

Heterosexism and bi/homophobia still loom super-large in most of our worlds and cultures. So, pretty much everyone has internalized at least some of it.

Are you asking why you deny, to and for yourself, that you're some variety of queer? If so, then a) looks like you have your answer to the "am I queer" flavor of questions :P and b) probably because you feel scared because of heterosexism, homophobia (I don't know what you mean by being "scared of the labels," but whatever that is, that's one place you already know for yourself you feel scared), and what they can mean and feel like.

Phew! Again, those answers really are me making it as basic as it gets, so they are all going to be over-generalizations, as this stuff is so, so personal. So, where do you want to take this from here? Anything in any of that you want to dig into to talk about more specifically?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

DoodleBob
newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:46 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm kind and I want equality in the world.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she
My sexual identity and orientation: REALLY confusing (idk straight, bi, pan, bi-curio)
Location: United States

Re: I'm questioning my sexual orientation

Unread postby DoodleBob » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:11 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer Heather, I appreciate it!

First off, yeah that's what I meant by experiment, I would like to have physical experiences of another gender not specifically sex but some sort of physical experiences, maybe kissing to start.

Also, what I meant when I was talking about my fear of labels is that I really am scared of being labeled as bi sexual or lesbian or anything else. Even today, I got this beautiful rainbow umbrella off of amazon for college and it doesn't have to do with the LGBTQ+ community for me but because it was rainbow my dad commented "wow all those lesbians are going to be all over you now" and it made me cringe so bad to just hear this in a negative way and it gets under my skin. I guess because there's all this hate from my family it makes me scared to be bi sexual because I know what their reaction would be.

And personally, I'm not sure what my next step would be..just getting to know people at college?

alice
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Re: I'm questioning my sexual orientation

Unread postby alice » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:01 pm

Hey DoodleBob,

I'm hearing you say that you are experiencing attraction and romantic feelings for other girls, but that that is causing you a lot of fear. Does that sound right?

In terms of what you want to label your sexuality--it is up to you whether "bicurious" or "bisexual" or "pansexual" or "questioning" feel right. Or maybe "queer," which is often used an umbrella term for being not-heterosexual. Or maybe something else! No matter what you decide, you can change it, tomorrow or in 40 years.

It sounds like the stress about labels is primarily coming from a place of: "Oh shoot, I am not straight, and I'm worried about my family's reaction." Do you agree? I'm sorry to hear about that homophobic comment your dad made :( Makes perfect sense that would make you cringe! Can you share some more about what your family has said about sexuality--both that of other people and of you? And how their comments have made you feel?

DoodleBob
newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:46 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm kind and I want equality in the world.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she
My sexual identity and orientation: REALLY confusing (idk straight, bi, pan, bi-curio)
Location: United States

Re: I'm questioning my sexual orientation

Unread postby DoodleBob » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:20 pm

Hey Alice, Yeah that sounds about right. My family just thinks it's unnatural and they're also very hypocritical which i hate.

For example, my cousin B is gay and he hasn't really talked to anyone in the family about it or at least not to my parents nor should he really feel the need to if he doesn't want to. They were talking about it and expressed how they're totally okay with it because it's his life. Well, my brother came out to my mom this past winter as bisexual and she completely lost it, complaining about how she wants grandkids etc. I asked her "So it's okay if everyone else is gay but not for your son to be bisexual?" and she admitted that yeah, she felt like it was okay for other people to be like that but if it was their children then it's not okay. This makes me angry and it scares me.

My father also goes with the idea that yeah gay is okay but then he starts making fun of the way some gay men talk by starting to act feminine like and saying " oh they're such ffffffriendlyy people, he's so fffriendly" trying to point out that someone's obviously gay etc which bugs me. So their gay, so what? And my dad would just fall back on "yeah I think being gay is okay, they can choose whatever they want in their life" but he'll make fun of them just the same.

So really I just feel like my parents are hypocritical. I never chose to have feelings for a girl but it's happening. I never sat down one day and said to myself "wow I just want to kiss a girl just for the heck of it or just to mess with my parents". I just wantttt to kiss a girl, i just want it. So when my family says one thing but their actions show another thing, it scares me and if I figure out that I'm anything but straight, I don't want to have that conversation with them.

thewrit3r
not a newbie
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Re: I'm questioning my sexual orientation

Unread postby thewrit3r » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:51 am

Your parents are definitely hypocritical. I don't think they actually accept anyone who's not heterosexual but they justify it somehow since no one wants to be called a homophobe/biphobic/etc. It's kind of like when people say "I'm not racist, but..."and they make a racist statement, as if adding the beginning makes what they said okay.

Also the thing about wanting grandkids is ridiculous because 1). You don't have to be straight to have kids and 2). Not everyone wants kids so telling someone you want them just for you is pretty self-centered.

I'm sorry you have to deal with all this. It makes perfect sense why you wouldn't feel comfortable coming out to your parents not want to. Do you have any contact with your brother? If you can he might be someone to talk to.
"The writer is by nature a dreamer - a conscious dreamer."
-Carson McCullers

Sam W
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Re: I'm questioning my sexual orientation

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:16 am

Hi Doodlebob,

I second thewrit3r's suggestion to talk to your brother, if that's a possibility. At the very least it would give you each someone in your family who is supportive of your identity. Depending on your relationship to him you could also reach out to your cousin. I'll add that, sadly, this thing where your parents are okay with LGBT people as long as it's not their kids is not unusual. Which sucks, but it does mean there will be other people out there who've gone through this and can give you advice on it.

Since your immediate family is not a place where you feel comfortable expressing this part of yourself, are there other places in your life where it would be safe for you to do that? For instance, do you have friends who you'd feel safe talking about this with?

With your parents, do you think it's possible to set a boundary with them where they don't say all this nonsense about queer people around you? You can't stop them from saying it entirely, but you may be able to make it so that you don't have to hear it. Does that feel doable to you?

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 5508
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them or she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Re: I'm questioning my sexual orientation

Unread postby Heather » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:04 pm

As a side note, I'd suggest you do some thinking about how you can remind yourself that being bisexual or lesbian -- or those words -- aren't bad or shameful because of your family's homophobia and bias. THAT is what is shameful. Just like, for instance, the fact that some people are racist doesn't make being Black shameful: it's racism that is the problem and the bad there, not Blackness.

In other words, what do you think you can start to do to separate how your family feels and presents bisexuality or homosexuality and bisexuality and homosexuality themselves, including where you fit in that? What do you think you can do for yourself to start to let go of their opinions about this -- especially since you know they are clearly based in bias and ignorance, not anything sound or smart -- and claim your own? To let go of what they would think about your sexual identity and care about what YOU think and feel instead?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead


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