QUEER CAFE │ LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RELEVANT RESOURCES

QUESTIONING
 

Is Being Gay a Choice?

Wikipedia: Questioning Sexuality and Gender

New York Times: When Teens Question Their Sexuality

Am I Gay?

 

Curious and Questioning

 

You might have heard people talking about being “gay curious.” You may have heard someone say that they were “questioning.”

Being "bi-curious," "gay curious," and "questioning" refer to people who are unsure of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Some people question whether they are lesbian or gay. Perhaps they might be bisexual. Others question whether they are straight.

People who are "curious" or "questioning" often go through a period of self exploration. They may feel confused. They may experiment with their feelings and attractions to see what identity would best describe them.

Bi-curiosity or questioning is a phenomenon in which people of a heterosexual or homosexual identity who, while showing some curiosity for sexual activity with a person of the sex they do not favor, distinguish themselves from the bisexual label.

The term "bi-curious" is sometimes used to describe a broad continuum of sexual orientation ranging from heterosexuality to bisexuality to homosexuality.

The terms heteroflexible and homoflexible are also applied to bi-curiosity.

The term bi-curious implies that the individual has either no or limited homosexual experience in the case of heterosexual individuals or no or limited heterosexual experience in the case of homosexual people, but may continue to self-identify as bi-curious if they do not feel they have adequately explored these feelings, or if they do not wish to identify as bisexual.

 

Questioning and Exploration

Questioning your sexual orientation, feeling unsure about your sexual orientation, or being "gay curious," is really common and natural for a lot of teens

As one teenage girl said, "I am 16 years old and questioning if I'm gay or not. I'm pretty sure I am but currently have a boyfriend because I really don't know yet."

Sometimes teens can find answers by asking themselves things like:

Who do I usually have crushes on? Is it mainly someone of the same gender? Do I imagine relationships with someone of the same gender? If I have dated or had a sexual experience with someone of the opposite gender, how did it make me feel? If I dated or had a sexual experience with someone of the same gender, how did it make me feel? Do I feel strongly attracted to people of both genders? Do I think you could have a sexual or romantic relationship with either males or females?

If possible, try not to put too much pressure on yourself to come up with an answer right now. You really don't need to rush it. Remember, there is a whole lot of stuff to figure out when you are a teen. It’s perfectly normal if you are still in the process of tying to figure out your sexual orientation.

 

Wikipedia: Bi-Curious

Flexuality

Being Gay Curious

Do I Have to Have Sex to Know I'm Gay?

Are Too Young to Know if you're Gay?

 

Healthy Curiosity is Normal

Consider these statistics regarding the attitudes and behaviors of typical college students:

18% of college men say they've kissed another man and 20% of college women say they've kissed another woman.

10% of college students who consider themselves heterosexual say they've fantasized about having sex with a same-sex partner.

According to the American Psychological Association:

Adolescence can be a period of experimentation, and many youths may question their sexual feelings. Becoming aware of sexual feelings is a normal developmental task of adolescence. Sometimes adolescents have same-sex feelings or experiences that cause confusion about their sexual orientation. This confusion appears to decline over time, with different outcomes for different individuals.

 

According to Dr. Jeffrey Fishberger of The Trevor Project:

Figuring out one’s sexual orientation can be an exciting as well as confusing and scary process, and one that is different for each person. Some people are sure of their sexuality as children, and others as teens. Still others continue to question their sexual orientation as adults.

It’s interesting that when young people state that they are attracted to someone of the same gender, they’re often told, “You’re too young to know,” or, “This is probably just a phase.” Yet if that same young person were to say that he or she is attracted to someone of the opposite gender, no one seems to question this.

The teen years can be a frightening time, as adolescents try to understand the changes in their bodies and their new and different feelings. They’re also working to become more independent and become their own person while, at the same time, struggling to fit in.
 

For a teen who is gay, for example, this struggle can in many instances be that much more difficult, as negative things he has heard or read about gay people can affect his journey of self-discovery. Such negative messages can also hinder teenagers’ acceptance of their sexuality and their comfort with being open with others.

In trying to understand sexual orientation, it can help a person to think about who he or she has crushes on and fantasizes about being with. A person doesn’t necessarily need to have a “full” sexual experience in order to understand his or her sexual orientation. The time to explore such issues varies from individual to individual.

It can also be tremendously helpful to have peers and adults who are accepting, supportive and open to talking about this complicated issue. Gay-straight alliances as well as safe, social LGBTQ networking sites can provide support that could be tremendously helpful to a young person trying to understand his or her sexuality.

 

 

HOME
 

 


QUEER CAFE │ LGBTQ Information Network │ Established 2017 │ www.queercafe.net