T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 50226
posted 11-26-2010 11:55 PM
I have always based my orientation/sexual identity on who I have had strong feelings for. Until my junior year in high school, these people were male. Then, I met this girl. I had known her before, but not very well. Our relationship was odd in how quickly it seemed to develop. We just started to "click." I wouldn't have recognized what my feelings for her meant if I hadn't had them for guys before. Anyways, that was all very confusing. I still don't know what happened there and sometimes I find myself running circles in my head trying to figure that out. Now she says she is straight though and we have stopped whatever that was, so it doesn't really matter. The thing is, now I am in college and I am starting to have feelings for a guy.(This is confusing too because I am not sure if I am over her) I never told anyone about my confusion about this girl and now that I am at the moment liking a guy I don't know what to do. I figure this makes me bisexual, but am I supposed to tell my suite-mates this? We are all becoming great friends and I don't want them to feel that I was holding back. However, I also don't want them to feel uncomfortable or to stop liking me. I guess I am just scared of the consequences using such a label might bring. There are a lot of assumptions people make when they hear "bisexual." Any advice for a confused person?
Member # 49077
posted 11-27-2010 12:08 PM
Hi and Welcome!
One of the first things I would like to say is to not worry about using labels. I sounds to me like you are still questioning things yourself so using any label wouldn’t ‘fit’ right now. Beside, they can mean so many different things to so many people that I don’t advise them unless you are very comfortable with one. I am including an article for you to look over and see if it helps. Give it a look and then come back here and let us know if we can be of any more help!
Q is for Questioning
Member # 3
posted 11-27-2010 03:57 PM
I just want to make clear that the term "label" can be kind of dicey, especially for those of us whose orientation may not be the one culture assumes as a default. I think words like "naming" or "identifying" are a lot more helpful, and also make clear that for most people, having names for big parts of our lives or ourselves often isn't inconsequential. Sure, we don't always need them or want them, but when we do, "label" can make it all sound pretty pat when it often doesn't feel that way at all.
I think reading that link will give you some helps with this. But additionally, I think it's safe to say that any time a given word or term doesn't feel right for us -- or not just right yet, even if we think it might be later -- we don't have to use it, and may be best served by just sitting with it more and giving ourselves more time to figure out what we need, and if it's a term, what the right one is for us at a given time. One other thing to know is that sexual orientation is understood, like gender, as a spectrum, with a lot of people tending to fall in between various poles or places rather than landing squarely in them. Lots of heterosexual people (more than not) at some point had or will have *some* same-sex attraction. Depending on how much of that they have, how they feel about it all, what relationships they want to pursue and what they're comfortable with, they may say they're heterosexual, they may say they're mostly heterosexual, they may say they're not sure, they may say they may be bisexual but aren't sure. Not saying that's you, automatically, but that's one example of even how the orientation so many people tend to think of as the most inflexible is, all by itself, way more mushy a lot of the time than it can seem. That all said, and setting what people do or don't assume aside, how do YOU feel about your orientation up to this point? How do you think you'd like to identify, and to whom do you feel like you want to be identifying yourself to?
Member # 50226
posted 11-28-2010 03:39 AM
I guess I could be questioning. I just feel like I need to decide. Now that I think about it more, It is probably because the girl I mentioned before always seemed to want me to admit something, but in my confused state I couldn't say anything definite. She would start conversations about it and then get frustrated and change the subject. It doesn't help that my parents and friends noticed how close we were. I heard my parents talking about us one night... I feel like I need to choose so I can just tell them and be done with it. Straight doesn't seem to fit anymore because that relationship seemed to open my eyes to this other part of myself I didn't know about. Bisexual seems to fit, but I am wary of relationships with girls. This is probably due to religion and inexperience/ how new this feels. How do I feel about my orientation? Now that I know I can have feelings for girls too, I feel like I COULD be attracted to either. I myself am monogamous. That is the only thing I am sure of. Straight, Bisexual, Lesbian all seem so well I just don't like the stereotypes. Who to identify myself to? My friends and family. For those that are already wondering, I want to give them an answer. For those that didn't know me then, I am worried that later on I might have feelings for another girl and that it might hurt them that I didn't tell them before even though I already know that I am capable of that. At the same time, things are nice the way they are and I am scared of changing that. Of course, maybe whoever ends up in my life in the future will be male, but I wouldn't want to be hiding part of myself because it is easier to let people assume and never correct them.
Member # 3
posted 11-28-2010 09:07 AM
It might help to know that plenty of people won't have exactly the same orientation for all of life, so for some, this isn't a one-time decision. I know it can feel like you'd like it to be, but realistically, it just may or many not be. Even if you stay pretty much the same per who you are attracted to and who you get involved with, any given word may not always feel like the best one through all of life.
That given, thinking about orientation and any words we use for it as being based on what we know and feel NOW, and what feels most right to us now tends to work out best. I don't think anyone really likes stereotypes, no matter what or who they're about, but there's no group that isn't stereotypes, even though stereotypes tend to have more impact on minority groups. But our own identities aren't stereotypes unless we choose to enact them that way, just like, say, the fact that I identify as a woman doesn't mean I'm saying stereotypes about women are true about me or other women. Get what I mean? What I seem to be hearing you say is that you are still very much questioning, and other terms don't really feel right to you yet, for a whole host of reasons. So, why use one yet, then? For people very close to you who you want to share all of this with, telling them about your history and feelings like you have here says a whole lot more than a single word can, anyway, so it's not like without one word to describe your identity, you have to be dishonest or silent.