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How do I know if I'm a lesbian?

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by Kathy Belge

How do I know if I’m a lesbian or not?
Lesbians are women who are attracted to other women. This can be a physical attraction, emotional attraction or sexual attraction. If you’re a woman attracted to women, you might be a lesbian. Or you might be bisexual or you might simply be a straight women who is attracted to a friend. It may take you some time to determine which one you are.

Some women claim to have known from a very early age that they were lesbian, or at least knew that there was something “different” about themselves. Others don’t come out until their forties, fifties and even later, after having spent years in a heterosexual marriage. Whatever your situation, what is most important is that you’re taking the time now to try and figure it out and get to know yourself better.

I think I’m a lesbian, but I’ve never had sex with a girl.

That’s okay. Most straight people know that they are attracted to the opposite sex before they ever actually have sex. There’s no need to rush to have sex to “find out” if you’re a lesbian or not. Do what feels natural to you.

What percentage of the population is lesbian?

A statistic like that is hard to figure out. There’s no census form that counts gay and lesbian people. And even if there were, people have good reason to keep things like that under wraps. Even though we’ve made some strides in the last decade, in most states it is still legal to fire someone because they are gay or lesbian.

A study of human sexuality in the 1950s determined that most people have some degree of attraction to both sexes. The generally accepted figure is that ten percent of the population is gay or lesbian.

Is lesbianism normal?
Lesbianism is normal for lesbians. You cannot determine who you are attracted to any more than you can determine the color of your eyes.

How do I meet other lesbians?

Where can I turn for more help?

The internet is a great resource. Spend some time browsing these pages. If you’re under 21, check out the youth resources. Read about bisexuality. If you’re Black, Asian, Latina or Native American, check out the resources for Lesbians of color.

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