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Author Topic: Am I a Lesbian?
LostYellowPages
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I know this is a very sketchy depending-on-the-situation and person kind of question but I'd like to ask anyway because it's been crossing my mind a lot lately since I was thirteen, and I just need to know what someone else thinks or their opinion on the situation.
I've never told anyone anything about this, because there's no one I feel comfortable talking to. My parents are homophobic and would go crazy if told them I even thought for a second I was a lesbian.

I avoid situations like changing in locker rooms or other places because I'm afraid that I'll subconciously stare at the girls in there too much and they'll get either freaked out or suspicious. I can't even look at a girl when she changes because I'm just so afraid because my parents instilled into my brain that homosexuality was bad no matter what and wrong, and if you were a homosexual you had mental problems or something.
When I go to sleep overs, I never sleep in the same bed with my friends. Even my best friend who has been my good friend for eleven years, I never slept in the bed with her like most girls at sleepovers do.
I've had a few crushes on guys because I hang out with them more than I do girls, and I just felt like it was easier to have a crush on the opposite sex, but I never liked my crushes because they were sexually appealing to me, I always liked them for their personality, however, I feel that when I'm around certain girls, I feel sexually attracted to them.
When we watch movies or walk around the mall, my friends or sisters will make comments about "hot" guys, but I never think any of them are hot. Ever. I don't think one male celebrity is attractive and none of the guys at the malls or any other place have I thought they were attractive. I do admire muscular guy though, but I'm not sure if it's a sexual admire or just admiring their physique because I used to be pretty muscular when I was younger.
I do however feel attracted to countless female celebrities and random girls at the mall.

Sometimes when I think a girl is attractive, I'll have fantasies about her coming up to me and telling me that she likes me and wants to go out. Since I've just started having romantic/sexual feelings for people later than most kids, these fantasies have yet to go to the X rated range, but I like watching a lot of girl-on-girl action like on TV, (The L Word show.)

When I was even younger, I always pretended to be a guy over the internet because I liked interacting with girls, talking, flirting - more than I did guys. I did it for long periods of time too, not just a day or a week. Eventually it evolved to "roleplaying" or cybersex and I always engaged in this as the guy, and found that I was only stimulated by the female response.

I just don't know for sure if I am or not because there are a few guys I have little crushes on but they disappear in like a week or two, but I always have this infatuation for certain girls at my school. I can also hug guys and be close to them physically without a problem but when girls get close or anything I'll get really uncomfortable and try to high-tail out of the situation as quickly as possible, (like a hug or dancing).

For a while I thought I might be bisexual, but now I have my doubts. I think that the only reason I have anything for the male or want to believe that I do is because of my parents. I'm so afraid of being homosexual that I just runaway from these situations.

Anyway thanks for reading and sorry it was so long.

--------------------
Escape to collect my thoughts,
As true as it may be;
It never has the same effect,
It once did have on me.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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There are so many ways that homophobia messes us all up, no matter our orientation. And one of them is that it can make it doubly hard, when we're questioning our orientation, to suss out of certain feelings are arising because we are homosexual or because we've internalized homophobia.

What I'm hearing in this is that you feel real sexual and romantic attraction to women, and that you are ALSO feeling strong homophobia. I'm also hearing you say that you don't feel the same kind of strong attraction to men. And if you've been thinking about this for a very long time, I'm inclined to say that it's sensible to consider that you may be lesbian.

What I'd suggest for you right now is do to what you can to really address and unpack the homophobia in all of this. If you ARE lesbian, you really need to get those phobias the heck away from you because no one needs self-hatred. Even if you aren't, any sort of bias against a group or class of people isn't healthy for anybody.

I know that's hard, and it's certainly not something someone can do in a day, or even a year: unlearning bias is gradual and takes time. I also know this has got to be really scary when it's likely you are lesbian -- or bisexual, at the least -- and you know that the people closest to you would revile you for it.

One thing I'd suggest is seeing if you can't get involved in a GSA (gay-stright alliance) at school, or find a local chapter of PFLAG. For both of them, it doesn't matter what your orientation is: they're inclusive of everyone. But I think it might be a help and a comfort to you just to be around some more accepting community: help in unpacking that internalized homophobia, and also help in figuting out how you really feel by having at least one or two environments where you don't have to battle the homophobic static in your head so much.

Just know, too, that while it's understandable that you're deeply afraid of homosexuality, people who are homophobic aren't representative of all people: plenty of people are not, plenty of people are tolerant and accepting, and -- of course -- plenty of people are gay and bisexual ourselves.

--------------------
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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LostYellowPages
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Wow... Thanks.
I never saw myself as homophobic, and I really don't feel that I am... One of my best friends is gay and he just confided in me earlier this year, telling me how he felt, and I was the first person he ever told. I wanted to mention to him that I might be a lesbian but I wasn't sure of myself and now I'm glad that I didn't because we're not friends anymore and who knows what he would have done with the information.
I go to a very, very small, Math & Science academy, with only 250 kids in our entire school. There were only two lesbians (at least that were open about it) that were dating each other. One of them dropped out because she was cutting herself and suffered from anorexia and the other girl got kicked out for doing drugs.

I always argue with my parents about homosexuals, as well as racial issues. My parents are slightly prejudice though I doubt they recognize this themselves. They grew up in Detroit, MI, back when there were a lot of racial issues against black people (I'm black, fyi.) So, my mom says she'd let me date white guys but not marry them, but when she said that to me, I really wanted to respond with, "Uh, I don't think I want a guy."

I don't understand how I can be homophobic, since I have no problem with any gays, lesbians or bisexuals, and I have several friends who are gay and bisexual.
If I truly figure out I'm a lesbian, I don't think I'd have a problem with it.. I'm just scared.. of everything. I'd never tell anyone because there is absolutely no one I know that I can trust, (it's sad but true.) I thought I could trust some people but they blew it.
Also, I can't attend any of the GSA or anything that you mentioned because I live at the academy and they wouldn't let me leave campus for that, and I'd be .. I'm not comfortable asking, especially since they'd have to ask for my parents permission and we don't have cars here because they don't want students driving. But when I am living with my parents, I live in a small town where there isn't anything and I only have my learner's permit.

--------------------
Escape to collect my thoughts,
As true as it may be;
It never has the same effect,
It once did have on me.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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The meaning of phobia is actaully fear, not hatred, even though absolutely, many people enact hate in response to fear.

You express feeling a profound fear of being homosexual in your first post.

I used the term "internalized homophobia," because that addresses homophobia we learn from others, which becomes a part of how we think about homosexuality or bisexuality. And given how homophobic our WORLD is, a rare, rare few of us get away with having NO internalized homophobia, just like because our worls is so racist and sexist, a rare few of us will have no internalized sexism or racism. Make more sense now?

--------------------
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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Heather
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FYI, LostYellowPages, it stinks that you have no way to have any real, in-person gay-friendly community. Obviously, that's ideal, and thankfully, eventually, you'll have autonomy in your life and be able to seek that out if you want it.

But in the interim, you clearly do have online access, and that can also provide a measure of that community, not just here at Scarleteen, but elsehwere as well. So if you'd like for me to toss you some good links for online GLBT, youth-friendly communities, just give a shout.

--------------------
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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LostYellowPages
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Yeah, it does. Thanks a bunch.
I just haven't figured out what I'm going to do. It's kind of weird because all this stuff has been happening to me and I've been feeling this way for so long but just last night did it really hit me. I don't know why. It's kind of hard to explain.
Right now I'm like ninety percent sure I'm a lesbian and I don't have a problem with it, and yeah, it's true, I am scared.
I'm scared of people finding out, and my parents especially, their relatives (whom are also homophobic), and when my mom told me that if she found out if one her kids were homosexuals she'd cry because it felt like she failed as a parent. I just don't want my parents to feel like they failed with me.
I told my mom that if I ever got a girlfriend, to her it'd be like I was always single. (You're probably wondering how we came to say things like this but this was during one of our many arguments about homosexuals.) My parents have never suspected in the least bit that I might be a lesbian. They just think that I'm a big tomboy, which I am, but yeah.
I don't know what to think about this...
Also, I just think that I'm a lot more horny than most of the girls my age. I was slower than most kids in beginning to have crushes and things, but now that I have, I just feel like I'm ten times more horny than all the girls around me.
I'm constantly thinking about sex, and I think about it so much that it's interfering with my classes, like I'll never be listening and just fantasizing about sex or something sexual.
On the surface it seems like I get along with my parents but deep down I don't really like a lot of their views which causes me to dislike them a lot and they don't even know it because I'm not allowed to voice my opinion.
I escape by listening to music or fantasizing.
I'm not a really confident person and I don't like my social situations - like, I have friends which is great, but no one ever pays attention to me in anymore than a friend way, so I think I just escape into my imaginary world...
Sorry if that's a little off topic.

I wish I could tell someone but I have no one. Will I be able to hold this a secret at least till I'm in my mid twenties?

--------------------
Escape to collect my thoughts,
As true as it may be;
It never has the same effect,
It once did have on me.

Posts: 14 | From: Southeast | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostYellowPages
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What is autonomy? And yes, that'd be awesome if you could give me some links.

ah... Read the post above please. I meant to add this little part to the post above but yeah.

[ 07-13-2007, 02:12 PM: Message edited by: LostYellowPages ]

--------------------
Escape to collect my thoughts,
As true as it may be;
It never has the same effect,
It once did have on me.

Posts: 14 | From: Southeast | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Autonomy = freedom from external authority; independence.

In your case, the ability to go out on your own, without persmission.

You know, you don't need to figure ALL of this stuff our right now: for everyone, it takes time. And it's normal to take baby steps to gradually get more comfortable with the idea: really, in your case, whether you're lesbian or not, it seems like just getting more comfortable and okay with the idea that being lesbian is or would be 100% okay -- not just for others, but also for you -- is the key thing right now.

(Especially if you're not in a place where dating is something you feel is an option or are ready to explore as an option.)

It's also normal for adolescents of every gender and sex to feel horny. This is one of the many boons of masturabtion and fantasy (even when we ARE in sexual partnerships). But too, if your sexuality or aspects of it feel strongly taboo (off-limits or very much not okay), that can also fuel that a little more than usual.

I'm really sorry your family situation is what it is in terms of this. You're hardly alone in that, but when there isn't anyone else around you who can relate, that makes it even tougher. Just know that someone else's bias is just that: THEIR issue and THEIR bias. Just in the same way as if someone trated you badly because of your race, it'd be about them, not you, such is the case with this.

So, by all means, feel free to chat it up here with people as much as you'd like, but here are some other links you might find of help, too:
• http://www.oasisjournals.com/
• http://www.youthpride.org/
• http://www.projectyes.org/
• http://www.temenos.net/youth/lesbian.shtml

--------------------
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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LostYellowPages
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I tried to tell my sister earlier today, but this is kind of how it went:

Me: Hey have you heard of the show The L Word?
Sister: No.
Me: It's like Sex in the City sort of, except with lesbians.
Sister: You watch that stuff?
Me: There's nothing wrong with it... It's a good show.
Sister: What the heck? You lesbiaaan.

I felt like crud afterwards. My mom also seems to think that I have a crush on this guy that is in my band but I don't, and she is always talking about it and teasing me and telling me, this guy and I are going to date each other when we get older.
But when I said, "I don't think so. I don't want to date right now, I'm still finding myself."
My mom saw a red flag and immediately demanded, "What? Do you like girls?"

The look on her face alone made me want to crawl under my bed and die.

--------------------
Escape to collect my thoughts,
As true as it may be;
It never has the same effect,
It once did have on me.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Oh, ugh.

Again, though, this isn't about YOU. This is about THEIR bias and THEIR homophobia. Obviously, even knowing that, it's still going to make you or whomever else they direct it at feel really crappy, but the person with the shameful behaviour here isn't you, it's them.

It's such a tough call, this stuff. Sometimes, when people who are homophobic start to suspect someone close to them is, they act even worse: get super-pushy with trying to put you in a heterosexual framework, for instance, get doubly defensive: the same sort of thing often happens in families that are very tied to traditional gender roles with kids who aren't or don't want to be gendernormative -- pushing certain clothing on them, etc. It may be that some of this is because your sister and mother do suspect you're not straight.

Sometimes, just coming out with it help with that: sometimes, it makes things worse. It's one of those calls that someone this far outside the situation, like myself, can't offer a lot of advice with, unfortunately.

If you DO start to think just coming out would be best, I'd suggest printing this booklet -- https://www.pflag.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Publications/Daughters_Sons.pdf -- out for your family. It may even help you to read it.

--------------------
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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LostYellowPages
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Yeah, thanks a bunch.
I wound up telling my sister today, and she took it a lot better than I thought.
She said, "Oh, I already suspected that." so now I'm beginning to wonder if my mom can suspect this too, though I highly doubt it.
The only thing that might is that I am a tomboy and always have been, but I dunno.
I don't think I'm ever going to tell my parents, at least not until I'm in my twenties. I'm perfectly fine with keeping it a secret. I feel better that my sister knows.
I don't want my parents to feel like they've failed me by poor parental skills etc. I just can't deal with it.
I wrote an essay about my dad and how much I admired him because he had a strong will and made a great life for himself when he started off with nothing. When my teacher read it, she told me to give it to him for Father's Day. Even though I wanted to, I couldn't. I can't deal with close emotional things with my parents... It just makes me uncomfortable and most of the time our close emotional experiences have been bad and lead to fighting.
I just don't think telling my parents is very important. At least not right now.
My sister told me to make sure I felt the way I did, and I told her I've noticed this since I was thirteen, and she told me, "but still, you never know. Just wait till your seventeen or eighteen before you go around telling people." and I said, "Well I'm not going to be telling anybody for a long while."
she said, "well then why did you tell me?"
and I said, "Because I needed to tell someone, it was driving me crazy."
I'm wondering, is my sister right? At waiting until I'm 17 or 18 because since I'm young, I might be "unsure"?
I just can't see myself as being a lesbian who is completely open about it and openly introducing my girlfriend and et cetera. Maybe that'll change when I get older but I just feel like I need to get through school and everything and then wait till I'm on my own.

--------------------
Escape to collect my thoughts,
As true as it may be;
It never has the same effect,
It once did have on me.

Posts: 14 | From: Southeast | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I think the thing to ask yourself is this: "Would my sister have told me the same thing if I told her I was straight?"

Probably not.

Our sexuality is fluid, and can shift through our lives, but if we're not too young at a certain age to know we're one orientation, we're not too young to know we're another.

I think what's vital here is that at any given time, you are able to be yourself, who you are, at any given time. I think it's also important to recognize the effects our environment have on that level of comfort: if you'd grown up in community and family where people were treating homosexuality as normal, were comfortbly introducing same-sex partners, you probably wouldn't feel like the prospect of ever doing so yourself was so strange or far away.

--------------------
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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LostYellowPages
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Yeah. I'm really glad I told my sister though.
I might tell my homosexual friend who was struggling with it earlier this year. (He's the guy that used to be my best friend and I was the first person he told that he was gay.)
I need to see how he's doing because he's also dealing with really homophobic parents. He's Korean, and his father has certain... expectations for him, and my friend has always been talking about how sad he was because his father was so weird to him.
He really fell under depression and stopped talking to everyone for about five weeks or so. It made me really worried... And when he started talking to me again, he was really nasty and that's pretty much why we're not friends anymore. I always tried to let him know that I was still here for him no matter what.
I just hope I can handle it better than he did.

I guess I am able to be myself, just without mentioning the fact that I dig girls and not guys. And yeah, I probably wouldn't consider that being totally myself, I guess. The funny thing is my grandmother (my mom's mom) has a lot of homosexual friends, but I don't know how she'd react if she found out her granddaughter was lesbian.
I had a long distance relationship with a girl for about a year and a half when I was around thirteen, and it just didn't register that I might've been lesbian. I didn't even think about it. I know that sounds so weird especially since I was in a relationship, but it's like I just closed myself off and just didn't want to see it and so I just didn't see it.
It's kind of scary to know that I have that capability. If I want to ignore something badly enough, eventually I will - with really bad side effects later.

[ 07-15-2007, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: LostYellowPages ]

--------------------
Escape to collect my thoughts,
As true as it may be;
It never has the same effect,
It once did have on me.

Posts: 14 | From: Southeast | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Hey, LostYellowPages?

There's someone else here this week who I think you might connect to: you're both dealing with hardcore parental homophobia and some other issues, and I think you both could benefit by talking to each other.

Her thread is here: http://www.scarleteen.com/cgi-bin/forum/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=15&t=000678

--------------------
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LostYellowPages
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Thanks. =]!
I dunno what to say though... Haha.

[ 07-16-2007, 02:12 PM: Message edited by: LostYellowPages ]

--------------------
Escape to collect my thoughts,
As true as it may be;
It never has the same effect,
It once did have on me.

Posts: 14 | From: Southeast | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Here, I made it a bit easier. [Smile]

--------------------
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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