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Author Topic: Am I bi?
Erathena
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I'm a 17 year old girl and my last boyfriend was three years ago. Well this past year i developed a sexual attraction to girls, it came as a huge surprise to me cause I had always thought myself straight. Well needless to say at first I ignored it, but then i started noticing one of my best friends in that way and I realized not only was I physically attracted to her but i was also emotionally attracted. Am I bi?
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Heather
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We can't tell you what your sexual orientation is. if and when someone decides they want to identify that orientation with words, what words seem right to them are up to them.

In general, bisexual as a term tends to mean that someone has the capacity to feel sexual and/or romantic attraction for men and women alike OR for people of all genders, period. If that sounds like it fits how you feel and what you've experienced so far, then by all means, that could be a sound word to use for your orientation.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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How you define your orientation: be that as bi, straight, gay, queer, or anything else: is completely up to you. There is no single definition for any of these identities.

Only you can tell us if you're bi. Do you feel that you are?

It can be scary and confusing figuring these feelings out, I know it felt pretty strange for me.

While we can't tell you if you're bi or not, we're here to talk about this if you'd like. How can we best help you?

EDIT Heather beat me to answering!

[ 08-13-2012, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: moonlight bouncing off water ]

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Erathena
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I just want help figuring out these feelings I guess I mean I thought I only liked guys, and I've grown up in a Christian home so this is kinda against what I was taught to be right. I mean no one in my house hates gays or anything but they are still Christian, so I don't really have anyone at home to talk to about it.
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Heather
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Well, there actually isn't anything, honestly, in the Bible or codified Christian doctrine that says anything about bisexuality or homosexuality at all, mostly because those terms weren't anything close to even invented when all of that came about.

There are things in the Bible about how it's not okay for men (specifically) not to rape each other, but that's about it.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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We're absolutely willing to talk about this with you, does Heather's description of bisexuality match what you're feeling?

Do you have any friends that are accepting of being queer that you could talk to about this?

By all means, not being able to be open about how you're feeling at home can make this all the harder. Too, being raised to believe that you are heterosexual and that this is normal can make it all the harder to figure out when and if you're not. Do you think that this could be part of why these feelings seem rather to have come out of thin air?

We can talk about any part of this you'd like, you can answer any or all of my questions above, or you can let me know what part of this you'd like to discuss first.

EDIT Heather beat me to it again!

[ 08-13-2012, 12:37 PM: Message edited by: moonlight bouncing off water ]

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Erathena
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I'm not sure if Heather's description fits because I don't really notice guys anymore, and as for friends yeah they are accepting but if i talk to them it might get leaked to my parents, and for your third question looking back I've always noticed girls to an extent and growing up in the household I did with missionaries as grandparents I think I agree with your assumption.
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Heather
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Well, maybe for now, let's set aside what other people might think or how they react, because that actually doesn't tell you anything about your own feelings in terms of how you're oriented right now. Know what I mean?

How about instead, you start with you, how you feel and who, lets' say over the last few years, you've found yourself having feelings of sexual and/or romantic attraction toward.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Erathena
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Well over the last few years I haven't dated anyone I mean I've only had one slight crush that lasted a week on my friend Zack, but looking back any time I saw a really cute girl I would blush for no real reason. Last year my one of my friends decided it was funny to pretend to flirt with me, or hang all over me, or whatever popped into her mind, she still does it. She's part of the reason I started to realize I might like girls.
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Heather
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Well, who we date isn't really about what we feel. In other words, sexual orientation is about who we tend to have those kinds of feelings toward, not what we do with them. So many people don't have the opportunity to date who they'd like to, for one, and obviously -- as you know -- there are also a lot of cultural barriers, still, to people feeling free to date who they'd like, etc.

So, really, what you want to try and identify is who, in terns of gender, you find you experience sexual/romantic feelings around.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Erathena
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Well I don't think I've ever been sexually attracted to a guy, I mean I've been romantically attracted to a few guys but never sexually attracted. While I am sexually attracted as well as romantically attracted to at least one girl.
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Heather
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So, sounds like so far, you're saying that the people you have found yourself feeling sexually and romantically attracted to have all been women. Do I have that right?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Erathena
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Yeah.
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Heather
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Okay, so if you want to look into terms, do you feel like bisexuality is something that sounds like it rings more true, or being lesbian?

If the latter term isn't something you know much about, that that one usually means is that someone who is themselves a women finds themselves solely (only) or primarily (mostly) romantically and sexually attracted to women.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Erathena
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I never thought about that possibility, so I don't know. I mean they both ring true in the fact I think I like girls yet I still like guys just not sexually so I'm not sure.
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Heather
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Well, it sounds like right now what's really going on is that you're questioning.

And that is a way some folks identify who are doing just that: in other words, at a given time in their life the way they identify where they're at with sexual orientation isn't as someone straight, queer, or whatever, but as someone currently questioning.

How does that feel/sound?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Erathena
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Sounds like I'm questioning, but how do you get past this stage.
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Heather
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You know, really, it usually just takes care of itself.

In other words, over time, you get to know this part of yourself better just like over time you get to know other parts of yourself better and more clearly. It's also not something we can really force or make change, and really, that's not a big deal because it's not like everyone is required to have one solid, unchanging sexual identity they need to report to some kind of certification committee. [Smile]

And when it comes to dating, we get to pursue who we want whether or not we have a given identity or identity our sexuality at all: having one word for your sexuality doesn't really change that much, save with people who only feel comfortable dating someone who does (which certainly isn't everyone).

Make sense?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Erathena
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Yeah it does.
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Heather
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Anything else we can do for you at this point? [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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Erathena
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What do I tell people, I guess.
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Heather
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Well, what people are we talking about? I mean, who is asking and why?

And are these the kinds of people you want to tell about your sexuality? If so, how much?

I mean, the thing is who "people" is is obviously going to vary, and few of us will share all the same information about our sexuality with everyone.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Erathena
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Just my core group of friends because they are mainly girls, except for one guy, and all they do is hang all over me, and yeah I like it to an extent but then I feel bad cause they don't know how i feel about it. Yet at the same time I don't want to be treated any differently if I do tell them but I feel I owe it to them to tell them, yeah I know I'm weird.
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Heather
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Well, let me make sure I'm getting he gist of this.

Are you saying that you feel like you owe them a confession of sorts you feel attraction to them?

If so, why? In other words, any of us might have all kinds of feelings for people who do or don't choose to enact or pursue, be those sexual, romantic, familial, based in friendship, what have you. Do we always tell anyone and everyone the whole range of feelings we have about them, including when any of those feelings aren't things we want to pursue with them?

If not, and this is just about sexual feelings, why does that seem like something someone is "owed," but not other kinds of feelings?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Heather
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(Just to be clear, I'm not saying it's right or not for people to disclose any orientation to others or not, or that one orientation should automatically be hidden, while others should be shouted from the rooftops.

I'm just trying to sort out if wanting to tell friends is something you want to do for yourself to get support and acceptance, is something you think would be a positive for you, or if you're thinking not being straight is...well, kind of like being on the sex offenders registry where it means you have to disclose your sexual identity or feelings for someone you have them for or around, or could, but don't even, because you think there's something wrong with being possibly queer, or with having sexual feelings for people you don't have sexual relationships with, if you follow me.)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Erathena
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I guess I don't know why, I just feel I do owe them as you put it a "confession of sorts".
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Heather
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I guess I just don't understand why, or what that gives them, in terms of what they are "owed." In other words, I guess I simply don't imagine that all of your friends have told you absolutely everything there is to know about them because they feel you're entitled, and I don't think that anyone at all is entitled to know about personal parts of us just because. And certainly, I don't think that somehow not-straight people "owe" straight (or maybe, who knows what the orientation of all your friends is) people that disclosure unless it's something we want to disclose for ourselves. After all, it's not like we're an infectious disease or anything. [Smile]

But, if that feels like something you feel you need to do, do you feel comfortable talking to them -- all of them, some of them? -- about it? And how would YOU like to explain this to them and word all of this?

I think it might also help to think about what you want to come out of this. For instance, are you also asking for support and acceptance, or...? What you want from disclosing should give you some direction in how and what to disclose.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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Erathena
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I want support and acceptance, I mean I think they'll take it well because we all have gay or lesbian or bi friends it's just I'm the new kid in the group, and I'm a little worried how they'll take it but I do want to tell them.
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Heather
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Okay.

So, again, what to you WANT to say? I mean, you could say something as simple as, "I've been thinking a lot lately, and I have been questioning my orientation. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm pretty sure it's not straight. I wanted to tell you that, and I'm really hoping I can have your acceptance and support, and also your continued friendship."

How does something that like feel/sound?

One other thing that sometimes makes disclosing an orientation with friends easier you're not sure everyone will react well to is to start with the person you feel most certain will react well and be most supportive. That way, you can start with someone having your back you can count on. Can you think of one friend like that?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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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Erathena
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That feels about right and yeah I can think of a friend like that.
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Heather
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Awesome!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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Erathena
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I followed your advice quite some time ago and my friends accept it and say I seem much happier now. Then my dad found out before I could tell him cause he was looking through my phone. He's not happy and says he still loves me but he doesn't act like it and is shoving religion down my throat.
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smittenkitten
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Sorry to hear your dad isn't being as accepting as you'd hoped.

In my experience it can take parents, especially religious ones, time to come around to their children not being straight. Luckily mine have, but compared to other shocks I've given them it wasn't such a big deal.

It does concern me that your dad is looking through your phone though. It sounds like an awful breach of trust. As a young person, virtually an adult, you have a right to privacy.

What specific religious doctrine is your father trying to force on you? Obviously if it's something you can debunk that makes it easier, but you can continue to stress that (as Heather said above) the only condemnation of homosexuality in the Bible is against male homosexuality. Obviously we aren't experts on Christian doctrine here though [Razz]

If anything, if you'd like someone to talk to about the way your dad is behaving, please feel free to do so here.

Best wishes,

Marion

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Erathena
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I hate that he goes through my phone and he only started it recently, he's trying to force Assemblies of God onto me. He even threatened to tell my youth pastor and told me it would probly get me kicked off the worship team, which him and my mom signed me up for.
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Robin Lee
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HI Erathena,

I'm sorry to hear your father has been invading your privacy like that. What has your relationship with him been like before now? That is, have you previously felt like you could talk to him? Do you feel like you could talk to him now, leaving the topic of your sexual orientation out of it, and let him know how you feel about him going through your phone like that?


What do you think about getting support from your youth pastor around the difficulties you've been having with your parents? Is your pastor someone you feel comfortable around or not comfortable with?

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Robin

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