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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Questioning Sexual Identity, What Do You Think?

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Author Topic: Questioning Sexual Identity, What Do You Think?
ConfusedlyTruthfullyYours
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I always remember having crushes on little boys, ever since I was maybe 3 or 4 years old, but I don't really think it had anything to do with physical attraction at all; I think I was more attracted to their personalities.

I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be The Protector of All Women and Annihilator of All Men. Whenever I sensed a girl suffering, in real life or in a book or TV show or movie, all I wanted to do was reach out and hold them, kiss their foreheads and tell them it's okay, I'm there for them. It honestly never occurred to me until recently that this could possibly be even the slightest bit abnormal. In the same way, while the rest of the girls my age were avoiding boys because they had "cooties", I was trying to befriend them because I understood them better. Then when the rest of the girls started DATING them, I hated all boys and wanted to torture them!

When I was in maybe 1st or 2nd grade, I kissed my best friend. I didn't really know what I was doing, and I can't remember what I was feeling, but I did. And even though I knew vaguely what a lesbian was it never occurred to me that I was one. Nah. Not me. I'm automatically straight, right? Right? Yeah. I can be straight and still say "SCREW YOU IF YOU HATE ELLEN DEGENERES JUST BECAUSE SHE'S A LESBIAN, SHE'S THE BEST YOU SCUMBAGS!" Uh, right? I can do that? Hmm I am the most lesbiotic straight girl there ever was, I thought, joking to myself. I just assumed I was straight. Never thought twice.

Until 6th grade, that is, when we were playing spin the bottle and I spun it and it landed on a girl. For about two seconds I wondered, "Do I want to kiss her?" and the answer was, "Yes, more than anyone else in the whole class." Worried, I shifted my eyes as everyone laughed and told me to spin again.

I started having lesbian-themed dreams in about 7th grade. They have gotten more and more frequent and more and more explicit since. I really believe that dreams are windows into our subconscious minds, so I just thought I'd mention this.

Then in 8th grade I really seriously started questioning, when I started to gradually see women's bodies in a different way. I thought I was bisexual because like I said, I had crushes on boys before, at a young, young age.

In 9th grade, where I am today, I have feelings for a girl I know that I have never had for anyone else ever before. It's somewhere between "crush" and "obsession", and I don't have a word for it. She has this smile that's just radiant, and it's always in the back of my mind, no matter what else I'm doing.

It's really hard for me to even consider the possibility I might be a lesbian, because I've been a tomboy all my life, and I've always had to defend my femininity. This really doesn't help, does it?

[This message has been edited by ConfusedlyTruthfullyYours (edited 12-22-2005).]


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Heather
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I think what's helpful when processing stuff like this is to remember that sexual orientation and gender identity are two separate things. They can be interrelated, but aren't always, and one doesn't dictate another.

For instance, there are lesbian women who in every other way, perfectly fit even the most sterotyped mold of traditional femininity: there are straight women who present and behave in such a way people assume them to be lesbian because again, people tend to forget that gender identity doesn't dictate sexual orientation.

Let's start here: I think it's pretty safe to say you feel both romantic and sexual attraction to women. So, lesbian or bisexual are pretty likely possibilities here. What are your romantic or sexual feelings regarding men these days, as opposed to when you were much younger? That may help clear things up some for you, or give you another door to walk through per consdiering all of this.


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ConfusedlyTruthfullyYours
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I have, well, none, really, sometimes I think, "He's cute!" or "He's HOT!" but when I imagine myself maybe being with a guy... it doesn't work.

Gender identity, yeah, that's a whole 'nother story, and I really have the feeling there is no such identity that really describes me. You know, I feel such a fierce loyalty towards being female, and at the same time, ugh, I hate shopping, dresses, hairstyling, salons, the color pink... ewww! I think my gender is Xenale. (As in Xena Warrior Princess, and I don't care if it's been cancelled, as long as I can catch reruns on Oxygen, I don't have to mourn it.) :P


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Heather
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Well, all of those gender markers you've just listed are VERY much about imposed gender on women in capitalist culture: spend, shop, look pretty. Sure, plenty of women DO enjoy those things, but persuming these are the most female things, or what is a marker of being gendered female is presuming a lot. You "Gah!" reaction to those things, rather than mere disinstrest, is likely about more than your own gender identity.

After all, women were women for millennia before there were malls and hair dryers.

Per your first paragraph, okay. If you have strong attractions to women and find you pretty much have none to men, then yeah: it's worth examining over time the fact that you're likely lesbian, processing that, getting comfortable with that idea, the same way we'd say to a woman who had attraction to men and wasn't finding any to women that she was probably heterosexual.


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ConfusedlyTruthfullyYours
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Well thank you for replying, and not BSing, a lot of people say, "Oh, wait, you're so young, don't worry about labeling yourself right now." Nobody ever actually tries to answer. I'm thinking I am a lesbian, I guess I'm just looking for a last minute escape.
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Heather
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You know, if nobody is saying people are too young to know or feel they're heterosexual, then they can't very well say anyone is too young to know if they're homosexual or bisexual.

That said, you still do NOT have to adhere a label to yourself until you want to, and for any of us, at any time in our life, how we identify, to whom we identify may -- and often does -- shift.

Labels don't do much for us. And it is sage to explore our feelings, see how our relationships pan out for us, figure out who we are in context before we get TOO tied to a label. It's sage never to get too tied to a label. But when an identity feels like your own truth, even if over time your own truth expands, shifts, evolves or even radically changes, it's absolutely fine to use whatever that is.


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