How Do I Know If I’m Gay?

Question: How Do I Know If I’m Gay?

Answer: Unfortunately, there is no easy way to determine if you are gay. There are no scientific tests or sterotypes that determine your sexuality. You will find out through experience and feelings.

Most define being gay as having a strong bond or sexual attraction to another man. Others define it as a lifestyle which includes behaviors and social interactions.

You should ask yourself several questions about your sexuality and sexual preferences. Do you prefer sex with a man? Are you physically attracted to men? Do you feel an emotional bond with a man? Would you consider an intimate relationship with a man?

Try not to fall into the trap of stereotypes. Gay men are just as diverse as straight men. There are no mannerisms, music or clothing preferences that can define a person as gay.

How do I know if I’m a lesbian?

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.

So how do I know if I’m gay?

Before you read this please make sure you have read this article first:
What do you mean when you say “gay”

So now that we have discussed the difference between attraction, orientation, and identity the question remains: What does that mean for my situation?

Well first of all, it means that nobody else can tell you that you what your attractions, orientation, or identity are. You are the only one who feels your attractions. You’re the only one who can measure them over time to decide that they add up to an orientation. And you’re the only one who can decide how to work them into your identity.

In our society we have all sorts of ideas about signs that someone is gay. For example some people think that liking or not liking sports (depending on your gender) is a sign of being gay. Others assume that music, clothing, choice in activities or career can all be signs that someone is gay.

So let’s be perfectly clear, being different in any of those areas has nothing to do with your attraction, orientation, or identity.

If you are worried about being gay because people have told you are because of any of those things…relax. They are being ignorant.

However many people question whether they are gay because they are feeling attractions and want to know what it means.

There are a few things you need to understand about attractions:

First of all attractions are not written in stone, but at the same time they can not be turned on or off like a light switch or changed like the channels on your TV. Sexuality is a very complex thing, and science is just beginning to understand how much of it works. There are many things that are still a mystery. We do know that for some people, attraction, and orientation can shift to some degree. Some people find that they can shift much more than others, and we do not really know why.

Second of all it is normal for people to feel a variety of attractions, particularly during adolescence. The fact that you feel one attraction does not mean you can’t feel another attraction, or two different attractions at the same time.

Many young people feeling a given attraction begin to wonder what this means about their orientation and identity. It can be pretty nerve wracking questioning “Will I always feel this way?” or “Does this mean I am Gay?” Many write in to us at this site wanting to know “Does this mean I am Gay?”

But remember, no one can tell you that. If what you are questioning is “Do I have a homosexual orientation” the only way to determine that is to wait and see. Remember that orientation is the general direction of attraction over time. Most times the best way to clarify an orientation is to give it time. Up to 25% of youth are unsure of their orientation in grade 9, but by grade 12 only 9% are still unsure.

So maybe your attractions will change, maybe they won’t. Maybe you will be attracted to both sexes. But the fact that you feel an attraction doesn’t FORCE you to do anything.

The best question you can ask yourself if you are thinking “Am I gay?” is “What do I want?” Your feelings do not determine who you are. They are part of you, and important part at that, and trying to pretend they aren’t there is pointless. But they are only PART. In deciding if you want to embrace a gay identity you should think how those attractions fit in with all the other parts of you. What is most important in your life? If your attractions to the same sex fit in with those other areas, then it is likely you will feel comfortable with a gay identity.

The other thing to remember is that just because you decide to identify as gay, does not mean you will be exactly like every other gay person out there. There are a lot of stereotypes, but gay people are as diverse and unique as straight people!

But there is no reason why you have to choose a label. A growing number of youth are rejecting labels such as “gay” “straight” or “bi-sexual” and deciding that those things are not what is important in their identities. Some prefer to keep their options open, or identify themselves simply as “questioning.”

Identities can also change over time. There are people who once identified as straight, and later decided they were gay. There are people who tried being gay for a while, and found it didn’’t work and went on to choose to be in relationships with members of the opposite sex. Having embraced one identity does not mean it have to be for life, as all of us are growing, changing and looking at ourselves and our world in new and different ways.

That said, sometimes if you are unsure, it is best to wait before taking on a label. One of the problems with labels are once you stick them on, they can be hard to trade in. Its kind of like trying to scrape off an old embarrassing bumper sticker of your car. If it was strong enough to stay there, it’s hard to get it off if you need to.

At we are all about descriptions rather than labels. I can say “I’m attracted to guys” or “I think I might like girls” without taking on a label like gay or straight. You will hear us using the words “Same Gender Attracted” a lot. It’s a mouthful for sure, but sometimes we shorten it to SGA. We use it because it describes feelings and attractions without implying larger labels

I know you might have been hoping for a clearer answer. But who are we to tell you who and what you are? We hope these articles and stories on this site give you ideas, clarify things, and maybe open new alternatives for you. But only you can decide who you will be. That’s why we call it “Free to be Me” not “Free to be who we tell you to be!”