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How Can you Tell if You're Lesbian or if You're Bisexual?

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Question: How Can you Tell if You're Lesbian or if You're Bisexual?
When you’re coming out, you might know that you like girls, but not know if that makes you lesbian or bisexual. How do you know if you are a lesbian or if you’re bisexual? If you’ve ever in your life had a crush or relationship with a guy, can you still be a lesbian, or does that automatically make you bisexual? That’s what 18-year-old Julie wants to know:
Answer: I'm 18, and I'm not sure if I am lesbian or bisexual. I know that I am not straight. I always have been attracted to other girls, though I didn't always recognize it. I've also liked guys in the past though -- or thought I did. So my question, I guess, is whether it's still possible for me to be gay. Is it possible for lesbians to have had "guy crushes" in their preteen/early teen years, or does the fact that I have automatically means I'm bi?

Dear Julie,

Yes, of course you can still be a lesbian if you've had crushes on guys in the past. You can be a lesbian if you've had relationships with men in the past. Perhaps this will help you define yourself:

How to tell if you’re a lesbian:

You like women. You’re sexually attracted to women. When you look to the future, you see yourself with women. You want to have sex with women, build a life with a woman, have relationships with women.

You may or may not have had crushes or relationships with men in the past. You may or may not have relationships with women in the past. When you look deep inside, the word “lesbian” feels right for you.

How to tell if you’re bisexual:

You like both men and women. You are sexually attracted to both men and women. You have crushes on both men and women. When you look to the future, you can see your self with either a man or a woman. You want to have sex with women and men, build a life with a woman or a man, have relationships with both men and women.

You may or may not have had crushes or relationships with men in the past. You may or may not have relationships with women in the past. When you look deep inside, the word “bisexual” feels right for you.

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