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Coming Out Advice: Do I Sleep with her to Prove I'm a Lesbian?

Unsure of Sexual Orientation


Hello Kathy,

Coming Out Advice Needed

I've read your column before and am impressed by your helpful and compassionate responses to women who are coming to terms with their sexuality. I am writing to you because I hope that you can help me come to terms with mine. I hope this doesn't sound too strange, but I am unsure how to identify myself. I am 31 years old and for a long time have known that I have absolutely no romantic or sexual attraction to men. I have always known, on some level, that I am romantically and sexually attracted to women. As early as my teens, I had crushes on girls, but was unable to identify it as such.

I dated boys, but never felt any kind of attraction to them. I'm ashamed to say that I've only had one sexual experience and that was with a guy. Though he treated me well, I disliked the sex and the relationship. I was unable to force myself to love him as anything more than a friend. I wanted to be intimate with a woman, but I thought that I wasn't normal.

In College I was Attracted to Women

In college, I became friends with a girl named Elizabeth. Liz was beautiful on the inside and out. Whenever she would hug me or kiss me on the cheek, I felt so aroused and cherished by her. Right before graduation, she told me that she was in love with me. I was so stupid! I was still denying myself, trying to be the good little heterosexual girl for my homophobic family. I loved her too, but was too afraid to admit it.

I feel I have to prove I’m a lesbian

Recently, I told my closest friends and family about my attraction to women. My father was instantly accepting. My mother is still coming to terms with it, and my sister doesn't believe me. She is convinced that I am heterosexual even though I have stressed over and over again that when I look at a man, there is just no sort of attraction there. It doesn't exist! I feel that I have to prove myself. I feel frustrated and lonely. I feel like I have to go out and have a meaningless one-night stand with a woman in order to prove to people that I'm attracted to and love women.

How can you know if you’re gay if you’ve never had sex?

My sister has said, "How can you know you're gay if you've never had sex with a woman?" Straight people know that they're straight even when they're still virgins. Why do I have to prove myself? Am I allowed to identify as a lesbian even though I've never slept with a woman or should I just avoid claiming any sexual identity at all?

I want my first time to be with someone I truly care about, or am I wrong? Am I abnormal for not having any sexual experience with a woman yet or for not coming to terms with my sexuality in my teens?

Right now, I am isolated and alienated. There is a LGBT community center in my hometown, but I fear that I would not be accepted. I would be grateful for your insight or any helpful advice that you may have.

Thank you,

What advice do I have for Laura? Read on..

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