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Am I really a lesbian?

Proof for Being a Lesbian


I'm 17 years old and I am really conflicted about my sexuality. For a couple years I have been so sure I was straight. However, two years ago I was out and proud bisexual. The reaction from my peer group was so harsh at the time - middle school can be so brutal!

High school is much more accepting though, and I have started exploring my sexuality again. I really think I am a lesbian, but I want to be sure about my sexuality - either straight or lesbian, not unsure.

It just seems like such a sudden change though. I literally woke up one day after having a powerful dream about another woman and I was like "Am I a lesbian?" After that I started really seriously thinking about it. I admit I did look at some lesbian porn, and nothing had ever turned me on like that before! I also tried to imagine being in a relationship with another woman, and I think it would be what I really want, but I've never actually been in a relationship with a woman.

Proof for Being a Lesbian

So, anyway, my proof for being a lesbian is 1. I am highly attracted to women and I really like to be around women - I love most everything about women. 2. I find naked men kind of yucky and I really don't like the common characteristic in men where they feel the need to be dominant. 3. It makes me happy to think of myself as a lesbian.

I'm still really afraid that it is a phase though. Will I "go back straight" if I get into a real relationship with another woman? What do you think about my feelings?

I guess I really needed to get all that off my chest. What I really want to know though is, is that sufficient grounds for coming out as lesbian?
Not Crystal Clear

Dear Crystal,

I can sympathize with you. Our culture does not give much value to process. People are just supposed to know what they want and go for it. You’re asked to put yourself into boxes. Girl or Boy. Cheerleader or Jock. Stoner or Goth. Gay or Straight. Country or Hip Hop. But how can we know unless we take the time look inside ourselves and see what really makes us happy?

The truth is sometimes we don’t know. And spending the time to figure it out is valuable. I believe every gay and lesbian person who grapples with their sexuality is in a stronger position to take on the world. They know what it’s like to face something difficult and make their way through it. They gain a greater sense of self-awareness and will be able to face other difficult times in their life.

The Short Answer: Am I Really a Lesbian?

That’s the long answer to my question. The short answer is, yes, I do believe you can know you are lesbian without ever having a relationship with another woman. Our wants, our desires, our sexual attraction, who we see ourselves with in the future are factors that play into discovering ourselves.

Where I especially give you credit, and all the others who write in wondering if they are lesbian or not, is that you do take this time of self-discovery. Many people never take the time to get to know themselves very well. Be patient with yourself. Try the word “lesbian” on for size. Write it in your journal. “I am a lesbian.” Sit with it. How does it feel?

Look at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself you’re a lesbian. You love women. What emotions come up? Listen to them. You can also try out “straight” and “bisexual.” See how those feel.

Seek out the support of a coming out group at your college or a gay/straight alliance in your high school. Your teen years are at time for discovery, a time to try on different labels and beliefs to see what fits.

As for your fear that you will go straight again. Just let it go. Who knows? You might. You might not. But no matter what you discover, you will be a stronger person for having gone through the process. I applaud you.

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