I am a 14 year old girl and I’m starting to question my sexuality. I’m about 95% sure that I like boys, but I’m starting to think that I might like girls too. I think that I’d like to date a girl as much as a guy and that they’re extremely attractive, but I’m unsure. I’m really worried that I’m just making this up in my head because I want to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Something that makes me think I really am bisexual is that a couple months ago I had this giant sexuality crisis and totally panicked that I thought I liked girls in my room for a while. I took a bunch of quizzes and looked at a bunch of articles and everything I read suggested that when people go through these things they never seem to turn out to actually be straight. I’m still unsure though, and I’m not really sure what you could do help, but if you have any advice for me I’d be happy to hear it. If you want any further information just ask and I’ll try to give it to you.
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I can relate to you on the imposter syndrome so much. It doesn’t help when there is A LOT of gatekeeping in the LGBT+ community; so many of the letters try to outdo each other with a “queerer than thou” attitude and it just doesn’t help anyone. Bisexual (“bi”) people are welcome in the community; what do people think the B stands for? Babbaduk? Bacon?
I can tell you from my own experience that some of us are very dense. I never seriously considered the possibility that I could be anything other than straight until I was 19. I’m 26, almost 27 now, so let that sink in for a moment. I spent more of my life honestly thinking I was straight (or otherwise not questioning myself) and only the past 7 years or so questioning or identifying as bi. I had to learn the hard way that no one has these sorts of existential crises for fun; they are part and parcel of achieving self-actualization. To elaborate a little more on that last part, here’s an article about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
What this is is the idea that all humans have needs and some are more important than others. For example, food is at the bottom and self-actualization is at the top. The idea of self-actualization is trying to understand and be your most authentic and truest self. I personally believe that discovering your orientation is one of the steps in this direction; how can you be your true self if you don’t even know who that is?
Do you ever experience growing pains, like maybe in your legs? You can think of this process as a series of emotional growing pains. Usually, cis and/or straight people do not think this hard about themselves because they don’t have to do so; society is all set up for them so they don’t have to think too hard about this.
All of this is because of heteronormativity, which is the belief that being heterosexual and heteroromantic is normal and valid and the ONLY way to be. I imagine some of the confusion and distress you're experiencing could be the result of this. It’s because realizing that you might not be fitting into society's expectations is fraught with consequences. I have a couple of articles about heteronormativity and its effects on people:
It takes courage to step outside the molds society has created for us. For some of us, it’s through no choice of our own; none of us ever asked to be bi or straight or anything. But how you express these parts of yourself is a series of choices. Let me break some of them down for you:
Do you sit weirdly in chairs? Do you like lemon bars and lattes? Do you cuff jeans and wear Doc Martens? Do you always tuck in your shirt? Do you do finger guns or peace signs in photos because you don’t know what to do with your hands?
This was meant to be humorous; there are some very funny elements of bi culture and it’s fun to see how many of these match up with your daily life already. In all seriousness, there is no one right way to be bi or anything; it’s all up to you to decide if or how you come out and how you present yourself.
Something else to consider about being bi is making peace with the fact that your orientation is ultimately going to be more fluid than other folks’ will. This is called the bi-cycle, which is a way of describing the shifting patterns of attraction that many bi folks experience. This article should help explain it better:
It’s okay to have preferences, to experience shifts in your attraction to people, to not be attracted to different genders in exactly the same way, etc. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to gatekeep the LGBT+ community or even bi people; everyone is allowed to be different and it’s not your job to embody or dodge every stereotype about bi people.
Keep in mind that you’re quite young; I almost envy your self-awareness because I didn’t think like this at your age. You have your whole life ahead of you to learn more about yourself and to achieve that authentic self. All I ask is that you keep an open mind and do what you feel is best; recognize that it’s okay to change your mind about things, to adopt different labels, to keep learning about yourself. You are the expert on yourself; no one else is entitled to define you or box you in or shame you.
Socially-distanced hugs and bi puns,