How do I know if I'm gay, lesbian, or bisexual?

299 Answers
Last Updated: 04/17/2018 at 7:37pm
How do I know if I'm gay, lesbian, or bisexual?
★ This question about LGBTQ+ was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
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Answers
playersin13 - Expert in LGBTQ+
October 4th, 2015 11:32pm
Im confused as im straight but started getting feeling for guys and started to like my friend even though I like girls
Erynn
November 16th, 2014 12:56am
What a big question! First off, you are not alone in questioning your sexual orientation. Know that many, many, many people are also and have also asked themselves those very same questions. Second, know that no one but yourself can find the answer! It's YOUR identity, and no parent, friend, mentor, or stranger can figure it out for you. This can be both terrifying and liberating. Third, there isn't a "wrong" answer. Even if you later identify differently, whatever you identify with right now is still valid. It just becomes valid in the past tense. So, don't worry too much about being "right" and finding the "right" answer. Sexuality is often very fluid. Fourth, it may help to read. Find out what each definition means. Listen to the stories of people who identify these ways. What does it mean to them to be gay, lesbian or bisexual? Fifth, give yourself time. It's okay if it takes weeks, months, years to figure out. Just go with it. It took me until my second year of college to figure out my sexuality. You don't need to tell anyone until you are ready, and you don't need to label yourself unless it's what YOU want and it helps YOU. Finally, it may help to journal to sort out your feelings. You might also seek out the LGBTQ community in some manner - online or in real life - to find support and information as you explore your feelings. Best wishes friend. It'll all turn out okay in the end. :) Just breathe and give yourself the time and space to explore your feelings and thoughts.
Scrivener - Expert in LGBTQ+
November 15th, 2014 3:53am
Sexual orientation is just that - it's based on who you are sexually attracted to. It's one piece of a big picture, and it's rarely black and white. If you are primarily sexually attracted to your own gender, you call yourself gay. If you are primarily attracted to the opposite gender, you call yourself straight. If it's something in between, you might call yourself bisexual - but the truth is rarely that simple. Most straight people will have some interest in the same sex, even if they never act on it. It's the same for most gay people. Sexuality is complicated, and labels don't give the full answer.
Gardeviola
November 7th, 2014 3:54pm
Well, which genders do you feel attraction for? Personally, I feel like everyone has felt same sex attraction at least once. Don't confine yourself to a label. I identify as Pansexual (Liking people regardless of any gender identity), and there is more than just straight, lesbian, gay, or bi. Sexuality is fluid. Hope this helps.
Anonymous
November 17th, 2014 12:02am
its is all about who you are sexually attracted too. one thing to keep in mind is that there are different sexualites besides those ones so don't limit yourself when discovering yourself. also there is big difference between sexual and romantic attraction. i hope that helped!
Anonymous - Expert in LGBTQ+
November 17th, 2014 4:52pm
If you feel like you are attracted to someone of the same sex emotionally. It is normal to feel physically attracted to someone of the same sex, but if you could see yourself having a life with that person then you could be either gay, bisexual, or lesbian.
DeadlyAlone
November 19th, 2014 3:55pm
You will probably understand it through your relationships. If you get attracted by the same sex then you are homosexual if you get attracted by both sexes then you are bisexual.
LaurenSays
November 5th, 2014 5:36am
Sexuality is a personal experience, and no one can define it but you. Do your research and do what feels right. Sexuality is fluid, and it exists more on a scale than in black and white. That being said, it is entirely possible to be gay and feel very minimal attraction to the opposite sex, or to be straight and have some gay thoughts. When it comes down to it, it's all what feels right for you.
ChaiChelsea
November 8th, 2014 8:20am
Figuring out your sexuality can be a very complex and personal thing. You can try looking at the Kinsey test online, and reflect on the questions as they pertain to you & your rating on the scale. You could also think back and ask yourself questions such as, who do you fantasize about the most? Who do you see yourself in both short and long term relationships with? Who do you have crushes on? How do you feel around people the same gender as you, and how do you feel around people of a different gender than you? Reflecting on these questions - perhaps even writing about them in a private journal - could help find you some peace and answers.
BlueSunTattoo
November 12th, 2014 2:40pm
Sexual beahavior is not the same as sexual orientation. If you have emotional feelings for another person of your same sex fits you into GLBTQ.
chamomilecompanion
November 13th, 2014 5:59pm
Sexuality does not have to be confined to sexual object choice. You can express your sexuality through gender presentation as well as the sexual behaviors you engage in. It is important to realize that sexuality is a social construction and therefore you can choose to identify yourself in the way that feels most natural, not by the way society constructs sexual identities.
MaiaPapaya
November 6th, 2014 6:18pm
Understanding your sexual orientation can take a lot of thought, and many teens (and even adults) are unsure of their orientation. So don't worry! Sexual orientation refers to someone's preferences in general, so a single experience doesn't define who you are, and you are more than who you find attractive. Sometimes putting a label on it can help, but other times it's just more confusing. Fantasies, conscious attractions, emotional and romantic feelings, and sexual behaviors are all indicators about your sexual preferences, and therefore your orientation.
Amandeas
November 16th, 2014 8:17pm
Trust yourself and your gut. Your sexual orientation is unique, and only you can decide who you are. There's billions of sexual orientations. Asexuallity (not being sexually attracted to people at all) or pansexuallity (being attracted to men, women and everyone inbetween), just to mention two of my favorites.
RabbleRouser
April 1st, 2015 12:42am
Personally, this was something I always just.. knew. It's very easy to tell what kind of person you are attracted to. Are those people not of the opposite sex, or at least some of them? Congrats, you're queer.
Anonymous
March 12th, 2015 10:41pm
It can be really hard to know if you're gay, and this is something that teens all over the world struggle with as they grow into being adults. You are not the only one to struggle with this. Talking to LGBTQ listeners on 7Cups is a great way to get advice and feedback from others who have gone through the same thing. Go to Browse Listeners and select LGBTQ. Good luck and hang in there!
DipityEnigma
April 16th, 2015 4:00pm
No one can answer this question, except you. One of the things that I've heard helps you to realise who you may be is experimenting with people to find out who you are. Whatever feels right, chances are is right.
vonengelhardt
June 19th, 2015 1:54pm
From personal experience, I have a lot of personal experience with coming to terms with my sexuality. I know it might be a cop out answer but the answer comes from inside. Are you attracted men, women, or both?
softWingedgiraffe33
November 5th, 2014 11:08pm
First decide who you like/are attracted to in any manner (emotional, sexual, romantic, etc.). Then try to find the label that fits you best. A resource I like if you want a label: http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2013/01/a-comprehensive-list-of-lgbtq-term-definitions/ --softWingedgiraffe33
Anonymous
January 24th, 2016 10:44am
If you look at a person and you can imagine yourself being with that person forever, then that should tell you what you like.
Anonymous
April 10th, 2015 2:35am
You find out who you like by dating everyone gay lesbian bi and you fit in maybe you like girls or maybe you like boys
William0
October 12th, 2015 5:39am
Should you concern yourself with your sexuality or just accept who you are attracted to? If you feel an attraction towards someone and they feel it back towards you, what should stop you? I think it is best to ask "Why do I care about my sexuality?" I think as long as you are happy and doing the right thing while not feeling judged, then you are in your own right. Of course if you feel judged, ask yourself why, and take a step back from such judgement's and never let them control your decisions.
gentleOrange94
August 16th, 2015 7:44pm
To realise whether you're gay or lesbian takes a long time. I always knew I was gay but I never really realised it until I was about 14 years old. It was a time where I was extremely confused and I didn't know who I really was or understand why I was sexually attracted to boy. Then I started to remember having same sex crushes back in primary school (elementary). Thinking about been gay took me a long time to be comfortable with who I am (on what I call a journey- the process of realising and come out as gay). I use to be really homophobic because I thought that if I was homophobic it might just take the gay out of me. Of course, it didn't work. While all of this, people use to come up to me and ask if I was gay, aggressively I'd answer "no". From this, I started to learn that I couldn't hide from who I really was and it was the midpoint of my 'journey'. After realising, that was when I started ask myself all kinds of questions and compare myself to the stereotypes of being gay. So I'm a tidy person who loves shopping, so I must be gay right? Not at all. Different people like different things. for example, not every straight guy loves to play football and is madly in love with sports just like not ever gay guy loves stopping and drag. It's important to know the difference of being gay to it being a phase. When you're gay, you normally feel that you are not normal to other peers from a young age and maybe feel different to boys then you typically would to girls. I for one can remember as a child hanging around with girls because I was way too scared and intimidated by the boys as I knew they were 'normal' and I wasn't. I guess that could be the first indication that you might be gay. I Came out about a year ago now and I can honestly say that it was the best thing I've ever done; I now simple feel free. Each and every experience is different in it's own way, so if yours doesn't relate to mine that doesn't mean to say that there isn't a possibility for you being homosexual. I once got told something that I will never forget; go with your heart. So, when it comes to the question of "am I gay?" my answer to you is go with your heart.
lovelypumpkin
April 17th, 2018 7:37pm
You will find out what fits you most. If you are strictly only considering those three sexualities, then it here is what they strictly are: being gay, or a type of homosexuality, is strictly between two men. being lesbian, a type of homosexuality, is strictly between two females. bisexuality is when a guy is attracted to both guys and girls or when a girl is attracted to both guys and girls.
Kimberlyyy
July 1st, 2015 5:01am
That's a bit of a tricky question, as sexuality isn't a black and white subject. It's quite complicated, actually. Gay and lesbian are pretty much the same thing, one is used for boys attracted to boys and the other is for girls attracted to girls. Bisexuality is when you're attracted to boys and girls. There are many, many more sexualities and more categories. I wouldn't try and put a label on anything, just let love happen and see where it takes you :)
KaringKatniss
August 13th, 2015 9:10pm
Well sexuality is very fluid you just have to go with your gut and if one day you find yourself attracted to the same sex then so be it. Things don't need clear labeling until you're sure.
CalmSoul998
January 22nd, 2016 2:07am
I think it is better if you don't stress too much about it. Live your life, being LGBT+ doesn't make you a different person, surround yourself with people who love you. Eventually you will end up with the love of your life, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, religion, etc. Be who you want to be in every moment. Love and respect others and yourself.
Anonymous
January 17th, 2016 12:31pm
Well, first of all, you might not ever know! Some people know right away that they are gay or bisexual, others go their entire lives only to discover more about their sexuality much later on. The only really way you can tell is by identifying your feelings for other people, either in a relationship or otherwise. And there are many, many more sexualities than those three, so a little research could be useful to you. It's also valuable to remember that ultimately, you don't really have to know! You can still date whoever you like without labelling what you feel, and some people prefer that. However, if you think finding a name to identify with gives you peace of mind, there are lots of people to talk to, and lots of helpful things to read.
Anonymous
July 26th, 2015 4:39pm
If you don't already know it, don't hesitate to find it out because you will get to know yourself better over time. But the feeling that you are gay, lesbian or bisexual is deeply inside you and only you can feel it. It's like having a crush on somebody, you can't control it because it is inside of you.
helpfulkitty14
August 12th, 2015 10:14pm
youwl know that your gay or lesbian if you find a strong attraction to the same gender an you see them as a spouse. you know if your bisexual if you fell this way about both genders.
briskyxfumes
August 12th, 2015 10:17pm
You will know your sexuality early in the teens usually, once you think you're attracted to a specific gender, that's usually the reality of it. When you think you are, you pretty much are even if you doubt yourself. It's you not wanting to accept it quite yet but it's normal and you'll find acceptance within yourself eventually.