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How to know if I'm attracted to the same gender


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Hi, I'm a 16 yo cis girl and I've been having some doubts about my sexuality for a little over a year. I have overcome most of them (because at the beginning, not knowing how to label myself was so stressful for me that I got actual panic attacks) thanks to my LGBTQ+ friends who gave me advice and my supportive mother.

 

Basically, I have always identified as straight even if I've never dated anyone, I know I am mostly (and probably exclusively) attracted to boys, but I started getting confusing feelings around my girl best friend at around 14. Looking back on it, I believe I mistook my girl crush for an actual crush, which made me question my entire sexual identity. Now that I have thought about it a lot, I'd say that I am 90% sure I am straight, and as much as I hate that word, my presumed feelings for girls were actually a phase. I don't think I'd want to be romantically involved with a girl, for example, and the thought of kissing (or more) a girl doesn't disgust me nor it appeals me.

 

However, there's still this little 10% part of me that is still uncertain, because what I'm having a hard time deciding is whether I'm attracted to girls or not. Basically I can't tell if I'm really attracted to them or if I just admire them or think they're really pretty or hot. When I see a cute girl in the street or a gorgeous actress, I sometimes check her out and think "wow, this girl is so so beautiful/hot/cute", and at times I really can't tell if I want to BE her, if I want to be WITH her or if I just objectively find her pretty. Still the same problem as when I was 14: not managing to draw the line between girl crush and crush crush/infatuation. My question is: how do you know you're ATTRACTED to the same gender, and it's not just acknowledging they're beautiful/hot?

 

Thank you!

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Hi there Noctalli!

 

Welcome! What a great exploration you're having, regarding your sexual identity! -- I'm glad you haven't had panic attacks for awhile. Having a support system is incredible, and I'm so happy you have one.

 

Would you compare a 'girl crush' to a crush you might have for a celebrity? What's do you see as the difference between the two types of 'crushes' you mention?

 

As I'm sure you know, romantic attraction/identity is different from sexual and physical attraction. Maybe you can only see yourself as being romantic with a guy, but there's nothing wrong with exploring the attraction you have to women. Maybe it's just a physical attraction-- or maybe it's sexual. There's nothing wrong in exploring that! And there's nothing wrong with maybe exploring it in the future, if the right person comes along.

 

Here's an article to remind you that the exploring time you're in, right now, is always an okay place to be!

 

https://www.ditchthelabel.org/8-things-know-questioning-sexuality/

 

I don't think there's actually much a difference between admiring someone for their beauty, and having a desire to act on those attractions. But it's that desire to act on the attraction that makes it more part of your identity.

 

Hope these ideas help!

 

 

-willow

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Hi! Thank you for your help!

 

To me, the difference between an actual crush and a girl crush is what I want to do and how I want to get involved with the person. Typically, a girl crush is thinking they're gorgeous and admiring them, wondering how they do that to their hair, etc., while an actual crush is more "I really want to hold their hand and be with them all the time and I can't stop thinking about them in a romantic and/or sexual way". I have noticed that my feelings towards men and women are different in the sense that I don't doubt for a second that I experience romantic and sexual attraction for men, primarly for celebrities because I'm in an all-girls high school and my environment is made of very few guys, even if I've had the casual crush on a "real guy". When it comes to female celebrities, I pretty much look up to them and find them objectively attractive without the "wow, I really want to be with them both in a romantic/sexual way", - usually the farthest I want to go is hugging them - so that's what I'd call a 'girl crush'.

 

However, I'm kinda more confused when it comes to girls my age, because sometimes the lines get blurred and I'm not exactly sure what type of "attraction" I feel; is it an aesthetic attraction, like she's very pretty and agreeable to look at? Or is it a physical attraction, like I want to touch her? I'm not completely sure, but I think it's going to take some time to figure it out on my own. Right now I think the label that fits me is straight, but I don't deny the possibility of being bi-curious in the future; after all, sexuality is fluid.

 

Anyway, thank you for helping me! I feel a lot better about this now that it's becoming a little clearer :)

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Hey Noctalli,

 

I can imagine that it is hard to recognize the difference when all you're surrounded by are girls... So I guess it will be an exploration if and when you want to pursue something with a girl.

 

I'm so glad you got some clarity! Thanks for letting us in on this part of your journey :D

 

-willow

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  • 2 years later...

Hello, please help me...

 

I'm an 18-year old who was born male who for a while, thought he was just straight, and I've been questioning my sexuality for almost a year ago from now. I've never actually dated anyone, but I've had serious crushes on girls only twice before in the last two years. But for a while, despite never having met a guy who has made me feel similar to how I did around certain girls, I feel, deep inside, that I could do that. I haven't anyone specific in mind, but every day, I have the feeling in the back of my head that I would want to someday meet a guy who makes me want to hold his hand, spend much of my time with them, and do the things lovers do with him. And if someone were to dare me to kiss another guy, I wouldn't hold back. Heck, I would let a guy kiss me if I felt a close connection to him.

 

I noticed that many of these feelings mostly started emerging months after my best friend came out to me and told me she's attracted to both guys and girls. And sometimes, I strongly feel like if I had the time and opportunities, I would love to try to get into a relationship with one of my guy friends, such as, say, one of my closest friends from high school, and another close friend who is openly gay and was one of the people I talked to a lot in the early stages of my questioning.

 

For the last six months, I've been feeling like all of this feels very real to me. But when I came out to my family and friends regarding this, while my friends offered to be supportive, my family said I have no experience to prove that any of this I say I am is real, that I have minimal experience with full-on social interactions (to be fair, this is true), that I did all this too early, and that in a pandemic, I couldn't possibly have figured this out (there may be some truth to this). They have some valid points, but now I don't know if what I was facing in the last year or so was a) true but misdirected, or b) the product of my mind playing tricks on myself by preying on my confirmation bias. I'm also worried that I lied to myself, and that I, being a neurodivergent person, recklessly tried to empathize with that friend of mine.

 

Can anyone help me sort myself out? Thanks!

Edited by estrela
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Hey @estrela

 

Thanks for telling me your story. It sounds like this all feels very real to you, and like something is telling you that this means something. It's important to follow your instincts. Just so you know, when some people come out, their families do sometimes tell them that they couldn't possibly know because of not having experience. However, most of the time, you just know, or have a good idea of what your sexuality is without having experiences. I knew I was gay from a very early age. So, the moral of the story is to trust how you're feeling and let that take charge, not others invalidating your feelings. What do you think?

 

I'm wondering, could it be good for you to maybe explore potentially dating guys, perhaps?

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  • 1 month later...

I am a 14 year-old female , and, like a lot of people, am questioning my sexuality. 

My mother and her side of the family is Christian and very homophobic, yet my fathers side is very accepting and supportive. This makes confronting my true sexuality a bit difficult, because it feels like my sexuality isn't actually mine but what my mom wants it to be. I remember around grades 4-7 occasionally finding my heart racing or my cheeks flushed thinking about another girl. I tried talking to both sides of my family about this separately to see what they think about it. My mom's side was exactly what I expected it would be, "Its just a phase," "I know you, you're not a f**," "You've never liked a girl before, you definitely don't now." Honestly, all their comments seemed more like they were trying to convince me I was just overthinking a casual friendship between two girls. Talking to my dad and his side of the family was much more different though. After I told them straight up what I think my sexuality might be and why they said they were very happy I opened up to them about this and whatever my sexuality was they would be behind me until the end. They told me it is still very early to figure out such a big question I had about myself, and it could change in time, but I should experiment going on dates with other girls and boys and evaluating my feelings from there. I understand a lot of people don't figure out their sexuality until later in their life. I feel like I'm very good at self-reflecting and am very self-aware, yet my sexuality just boggles my mind, so I would like to know how others brought themselves to realize their sexuality and what made them sure they had found the correct one that described them?

Yours Truly,

The very confused, possibly bi girl, Maddie💕

Edited by Madi
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  • Monsoon changed the title to How to know if I'm attracted to the same gender
  • Digital Mentor
On 6/27/2021 at 9:57 AM, Madi said:

I am a 14 year-old female , and, like a lot of people, am questioning my sexuality. 

My mother and her side of the family is Christian and very homophobic, yet my fathers side is very accepting and supportive. This makes confronting my true sexuality a bit difficult, because it feels like my sexuality isn't actually mine but what my mom wants it to be. I remember around grades 4-7 occasionally finding my heart racing or my cheeks flushed thinking about another girl. I tried talking to both sides of my family about this separately to see what they think about it. My mom's side was exactly what I expected it would be, "Its just a phase," "I know you, you're not a f**," "You've never liked a girl before, you definitely don't now." Honestly, all their comments seemed more like they were trying to convince me I was just overthinking a casual friendship between two girls. Talking to my dad and his side of the family was much more different though. After I told them straight up what I think my sexuality might be and why they said they were very happy I opened up to them about this and whatever my sexuality was they would be behind me until the end. They told me it is still very early to figure out such a big question I had about myself, and it could change in time, but I should experiment going on dates with other girls and boys and evaluating my feelings from there. I understand a lot of people don't figure out their sexuality until later in their life. I feel like I'm very good at self-reflecting and am very self-aware, yet my sexuality just boggles my mind, so I would like to know how others brought themselves to realize their sexuality and what made them sure they had found the correct one that described them?

Yours Truly,

The very confused, possibly bi girl, Maddie💕

Hey Madi,

Thanks for reaching out to us. I'm glad to hear that your father's side of the family are very supportive - this must be a relief for you. Also, I'm sorry to learn how your mother and her family responded. How are you feeling about all of this? I do hear of a lot of people saying things like how you can be too young to know your sexuality, but there really are so many people out there who just have that gut feeling from a very early age, and many people just know without having to experience. It's important to follow your gut and explore if you feel like it would help. This is how people get to that stage where they find the correct label. The thing is, it can just take a lot of time and patience, so it's important to trust the process. What do you think? 

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