General Question

laureth's avatar

Hey straight folks: When did you first realize you were straight?

Asked by laureth (27083 points ) December 19th, 2008

Was it hard to tell your parents – were they disappointed? Have you ever been discriminated against because you’re straight? Do you feel like you had to overcome the love of your own gender and make this a firm choice, or did it come quite naturally to you?

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99 Answers

krose1223's avatar

Why’s it have to just be straight folks?

cdwccrn's avatar

What???? You mean I have choice?? NOW, you tell me:(

PupnTaco's avatar

First grade. I had a crush on Mrs. Wood, and she still fits my ideal aesthetic.

My parents were very supportive when I began dating girls as a teen; my dad even told me after I broke up with one girl, “you should’ve screwed her just for the experience.”

I sometimes worry my gay friends won’t accept me since I’m a top / bear / breeder, but if they don’t it’s their loss.

laureth's avatar

@krose1223: Is it wrong to ask a question of straight people? My gay friends are sick to death of hearing this question addressed to them, so I thought I’d give them a rest and turn the tables a bit.

tinyfaery's avatar

Love the question!

laureth's avatar

@cdwccrn: I’m pretty sure it’s not a choice, but I hear that some people think it is.

asmonet's avatar

Laureth, I love you.

derektherock42's avatar

When did I find out I was straight? Well since I didn’t know about gay people until much later (It took me a while to see the real world), I always ‘knew’ I was straight as in I assumed I was. I think I started liking girls in a sexual way rather than a ‘crush’ kind of way when I was in 6th or 7th grade. I got interested in actual relationships around 9th grade.

laureth's avatar

@derek: would knowing gay people have made your sexuality seem less secure, or do you think you still would have had crushes on girls anyway?

augustlan's avatar

You know, my first crush was on my 1st grade teacher Ms. Cannon. And I’m a straight woman!

gailcalled's avatar

My first crush was on a female camp counselor (that summer was when my hormones kicked in) but when I returned to school in the fall, I switched to boys, and then men. So I am a straight woman also.

susanc's avatar

I had crushes on all my tiny friends (girls and boys) from first grade onwards. But I don’t remember identifiably sexual feelings till I saw Elvis on TV. And he was a boy.

MacBean's avatar

I remember finding out at age eight that there were people who liked only boys or only girls. I was shocked! To be honest, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around it. I’m usually very good at putting myself in other people’s shoes and understanding how they think/feel, but love based on genitalia completely boggles my mind. I like people, not parts.

krose1223's avatar

@laureth: no it’s not wrong, I didn’t see that other thread. I was just sad because I wasn’t allowed to answer this thread

SoapChef's avatar

What is it with you straight people?not that there is anything wrong with that

laureth's avatar

@MacBean – I’m with you on this one, actually.

You know how some people have fetishes, like their ideal woman has long red hair or their ideal guy is a soldier in uniform? A friend and I were chatting one day and came up with the idea that gender is just a big unrecognized fetish. Like some people just HAVE to have a male partner, or HAVE to have a female partner, in the same kind of limiting way that people need a partner to wear high heels. It turns them on and gets them going. I don’t think gender as a fetish is too far off.

MacBean's avatar

@laureth—...Huh! That makes it make sense to me!

asmonet's avatar

@susanc: Elvis kicked off some hetero feelings for me too. Even after he’d been pushing up daisies for 18 years.

@laureth: I’ve honestly never heard it put that way. I agree. Wholeheartedly.

Wholeheartedly looks effin’ weird actually spelled out. Is that just me?

augustlan's avatar

Laureth…you are frightfully smart.

queenzboulevard's avatar

When the time came I went with the social norm, which said that guys like girls. So I did.

To answer the question: right now!

p.s Lurve for the question it really made me think!

LKidKyle1985's avatar

heh its different when your straight cause when your a little kid being straight is the only thing you are taught, and as you grow you discover there is a different side to things, and thats when people make a decision to declare that they are gay. So, thats why straight people never have stories like that, everyone is assumed straight by default.
And the fetish idea you had, its interesting but I would say that being straight or gay isn’t a fetish. being straight is just the way we are programmed for survival. like, people have to be straight to survive, however I do not need a woman with dark hair and high heels to survive. but there def would be more babies if there was :D

simonPARASITE's avatar

Best question I’ve seen on fluther so far!

TitsMcGhee's avatar

One thing I will mention is that sometimes it is weird being one of the only straight people in a highly gay environment. I go to art school with a lot of gay and lesbian classmates, and sometimes it is a little alienating. Not that I don’t love them all the same, nor would I want to be anywhere else, but I think the simple fact of being different can make things seem that way.

MacBean's avatar

@Tits—Then you get how they feel every single day, everywhere else.

girlofscience's avatar

When did you first realize you were straight?
I realized I was straight some time between age 14 and 15. My earliest thoughts about my sexuality began at 10. I remember sitting in the 5th grade classroom looking around and thinking, “Wow, the girls here are SO much cuter than the boys. I think I’m probably going to be a lesbian because I can’t imagine ever ever ever ever wanting to kiss one of those gross boys.” (10-year-old boys are not very attractive beings…) I started making out with boys at age 12 and got more sexually active around 14/15, when I had my first real sexual attraction to a boy. I realized at this time that the feeling that boy gave me was totally, totally different from thinking the girls in my class were cute.

Was it hard to tell your parents?
Kind of. I simply did not tell them for a few years after I found out. They had already assumed that I was an extremely feminine lesbian because I spent so much time with my best girlfriend, and my mom would always walk in my bedroom when Natalie was over and see situations that made it appear as if something was going on. The one I remember most vividly was when my mom walked in the bedroom and, the next day, said, “Sorry for walking in without knocking. I saw there was a tub of whipped cream placed ceremoniously on the bed.” Haha, and um, I think my friend and I were making some kind of dessert.

So anyway, I thought it was safer for my parents to continue to think I was a lesbian because of how disappointed in me they would have been if they knew that I was as sexually active as I was at that age. I never told them about any of the guys I liked or was hooking up with until I was 16 and started seeing someone pretty regularly. I guess I finally told them I was straight when I told them I was “kinda seeing Tim.” They were both kind of shocked since they had thought I was a lesbian with my best girlfriend, but they were fine with it.

Have you ever been discriminated against because you’re straight?
Interesting question; I thought really hard about this, and I can’t remember a single time this has happened, which is interesting because I believe I could have thought of at least one instance in which I’ve been discriminated against for all of my other main characteristics (white, female, atheist).

Do you feel like you had to overcome the love of your own gender and make this a firm choice, or did it come quite naturally to you?
It came naturally for me, simply because I did not try to overcome the love of my own gender. I didn’t have to make being straight a “firm choice” because it simply was who I was, and there was nothing I could do about it. I continued to appreciate the beauty of women as I do to this day.

laureth's avatar

@LKidKyle1985: As a person who leans mostly straight (with exceptions), I will say that I never accepted my gender preference as a given. That may come from the way that society taught me that “straight is normal, everyone else is a pariah” and the way that my mom is a giant lesbian. So for me, it was an issue to think about. It’s interesting and odd for me, at the same time, to think that some kids didn’t have this experience, and that sexuality is so cut-and-dried for most people. I was never assumed straight by default, either by society or by my friends and family.

That said, even gay people can reproduce. ;) I’m living proof. So we don’t have to be programmed “straight” in order to survive – we only need to be programmed to want babies so much that we’ll do whatever it takes to have one – even boink someone that’s not particularly attractive.

laureth's avatar

@TitsMcGhee: It must be something like that to be the only gay person in a world of straights, I imagine. Not that they don’t love us just the same, but kind of alienating.

No wonder they seek each other out, want their own bars, and have Pride events!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

favourite question ever

Knotmyday's avatar

Six years old – first grade – shower. Nothing “dirty” or weird; the kid’s tub was broken and I had to use the mom ‘n dad bathroom…my mom had a set of bath oils with stylized nude female figures on them. Something just…clicked.
No consummation (with or without partner) till I was seventeen, though.
(my face is red just from writing this, what a nerd)

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@laureth: and all the more power to them! I’m not trying to say anything other than every once in awhile, I feel like I may be able to sympathize just a little. I also don’t want anyone to do the “you-couldn’t-possibly-know-how-I/we/they-feel” thing, because I don’t think I do/can, but I was just saying that’s what happens.

galileogirl's avatar

In 1st grade I developed a crush on a 6th grader. He seemed like an adult but didn’t boss the little kids around. Imagine that, a nice grown-up!

LKidKyle1985's avatar

@laureth Yeah I am not saying gay people can not reproduce, it’s just straight people reproduce a lot more and on accident lol. I would imagine it would be a little bit of effort for someone who is gay to impregnant someone. (of course i know there is exceptions to everything)
And It sounds like you might have a better answer to this question than most of us, with your sexuality never being assumed.

gailcalled's avatar

@LKid; Speaking of assumptions, my best friend is a gay male. 26 years ago he and a very close female colleague and friend decided that they wanted a child. He impregnated her the old-fashioned way, Avi is now 25 and everyone gets along famously. That includes my friend’s partner of 15 years, Kevin.

What do you mean by “straight people reproduce on accident”?

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Well I knew someone would jump on that and try and call me out, which is why I said, “of course I know there is exceptions to everything” And what I mean is, Straight people have sex, and not uncommonly have babies, not because they wanted to, because it was a mistake, or hence, an accident. When 2 gay people have sex, it is physically impossible to have babies. Unless one is a gay man and a gay woman, but that doesnt sound very gay to me.

gailcalled's avatar

I am not calling you out or jumping on whatever, just posting some information. And I know you said, unfortunately, that “there is exceptions to everything.”

asmonet's avatar

Someone called me a ‘fucking breeder’ once. Didn’t think about that, not until now anyway.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I dont get how that is unfortunate?

augustlan's avatar

@LKid: Psst…it should be “there are exceptions…”

laureth's avatar

@TitsMcGhee – I wasn’t downing what you had to say. It’s nice to have a straight person understand, and so part of why I said what I did is for the people looking on, who may not understand or never have felt like the odd man out. Lurve to you for being awesome. :)

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@laureth: aw, now I do feel fuzzy inside. I think things like this always will be a little bit of an underlying tension when one is the minority in a situation. It’s just human nature. I try to do my best to diffuse it, but I think we as a society have a long way to go to be completely blind to differences.

Although, it seems that sometimes differences are good, informative things. I’ve learned a lot from people who are different that me, that’s for sure.

MacBean's avatar

@Tits—Trufax. If we only surround ourselves with people who think and act the same way we do, we’ll never be challenged about anything. Which is why I tend to take the opposite side of things and argue it when I’m in a one-sided group discussion. What’s the point in debating [religion, politics, if Knocked Up is sexist or not, whether apples or oranges are better] if the entire group agrees? What are you going to learn? How are you going to grow?

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@MacBean: You understand! I agree completely… except I don’t like to be contrary just for shits and giggles. And no, Knocked Up is not sexist.

aprilsimnel's avatar

“Realized” isn’t the right word, I suppose, because my first little male friend and I were both 5. We would hold hands and he would go with my aunt to pick me up after kindergarten. We’d have a snack and then play together. We hugged and kissed (in that little kid way) a lot. I missed him for a long time when he moved. I’ve always had crushes on guys.

But I knew that all girls didn’t like boys from the time I was about 7. There was a girl in my class who would chase other girls on the playground and kiss them on the lips if she caught them. And there was a boy at our church that all the kids would tease as gay. It turned out later that, yes, he was gay.

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

Is this one of those equilibrium/competing influences questions aimed at making heterosexuals feel quilty about finding something odd about homosexuality ?

Knotmyday's avatar

@Johnny_Rambo: One only need feel quilty about the quilt itself. ‘Neath the eiderdown, that is. Nothing can seem odd deep in the soft, comforting goodness.

laureth's avatar

@Johnny_Rambo – you can find the answer in the 4th quip from the top.

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

Nonsensical comes to mind. This is like asking all people who have never been in a car accident how they feel about never having been in a car accident or asking those who have never seen Elvis LIVE, how does it feel never to have seen Elvis LIVE ?

laureth's avatar

I’m not sure what you mean. If you are implying what I think you might be implying, then it is also ridiculous to ask gay people about when they realized they were gay. Which, actually, is pretty much the point of this question – pointing out a non-event that people seem to think is an event.

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

It is an event because it is unusual for most people. Gays should not be surprised when someone asks this question, it is a natural response to something abnormal. Most people , a large majority are not homosexual, so sure it is odd and we are curious as to when they realized they were gay, whats the big deal ? Its not offensive to be curious.

laureth's avatar

You’re right. It’s not offensive. So I asked the question.

gailcalled's avatar

@Rambo: “Gays should not be surprised when someone asks this question, it is a natural response to something abnormal.”

It’s not offensive to be curious; but that remark of yours ^^ I did find offensive, bigoted and thoughtless.

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

Which one gail ? We are all bigoted about someting, so I make no apologies.

gailcalled's avatar

You feel that being gay is abnormal?

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

Yes, mathematically true. Does that offend ?

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

Being overweight in Somalia is also abnormal. Have I offended the Somali’s ?

gailcalled's avatar

Rambo; I’ve said my piece. What has homosexuality have to do with Somalia?

Anyone else care to chime in?

tinyfaery's avatar

It’s bash gays day, gail. Didn’t you get the memo?

gailcalled's avatar

@Tinyfaery; Sorry, Milo ate it. I was wondering what that wet shredded white thing was.

Knotmyday's avatar

Johnny Rambo:

Being gay is not “abnormal,” simply another instance of another human not liking something that you like.

You may as well be saying “people who like the color blue are abnormal” or “people who listen to country music are abnormal” or “people who eschew pork products are abnormal,” or any one of a slew of statements that mark you as intolerant, irrational, ignorant, and absolutely idiotic.

Bigotry is, without a doubt, abnormal.
My elementary school-age kids understand the premise behind “The Sneetches,” by Theodor Geisel; apparently you do not.

As to your “equilibrium/competing influences” reference: Oh my gosh, Wikipedia!

No need to feel “quilty” about spouting verbiage gleaned from minimal websearch.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@Knotmyday: While I love the word eschew, it seems a little strange to use it in that phrase… I particularly love the bumper sticker that says “Eschew Obfuscation” though.

Knotmyday's avatar

@Dear tits: in reference to religio-cultural grounds for doing so…

tinyfaery's avatar

Liking country music is abnormal. ;)

Knotmyday's avatar

so you say, as you do the electric slide. Don’t even pretend.

tinyfaery's avatar

Um..no. But I do have some Willy and Dolly on my iPhone. They’re old school, though, so it’s cool.

Knotmyday's avatar

not just cool, “It’s electric!” (snort)

Johnny_Rambo's avatar

If being a homosexual is normal, why all the stupid questions, just accept it and move on ? Trying to justify abnormal sexual behavior by saying its normal ? Homosexuality being abnormal behavior is a mathematical certainty, not just an opinion.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

This has given me the desire to post a new question in much the same vein. Hopefully, it hasn’t already been asked.

JellyB's avatar

Since forever. The thought or idea of whether i am or not, never, ever, not even for one second, even crossed my mind, to this day.

mclaugh's avatar

Well I remember not having any discrimination about who i liked as a kid.. I liked my girl and guy friends all the same and had crushes on both sexes. But as I grew older I began to see that there was a difference between both sexes. I was confused about the whole thing for awhile(probably from when i was about 10 to maybe 14–15 yrs old), that was when I realized that some people are gay(and no, I do not think it’s a choice either) and some are straight and that both are okay. I had crushes on girls but never did anything about them cause I just felt weird about the whole thing, and then when I was 14, I met my first long-term boyfriend(we were together until I was 18) and I never questionned my sexuality after that.

proXXi's avatar

Another GQ @laureth, Straight Pride!!

proXXi's avatar

@tinyfaery, At whom is the Huh directed?

tinyfaery's avatar

Straight pride? That has nothing to do with question.

proXXi's avatar

The OP is about straights coming to the realisation they are such. That’s a neglected subject IMO.

Shouldn’t pride hopefully follow?

tinyfaery's avatar

Try reading the posts. The OP herself talks about the pupose of the question.

laureth's avatar

@tinyfaery is right. The OP isn’t even entirely straight herself. ;)

proXXi's avatar

Your orientation is irrelevant (as is everyone elses).

How is the pride of the staights mentioned in the description so very removed from the topic?

laureth's avatar

Lots of things are pretty close to the subject of gay/straight, since it’s a pretty big topic. I mean, you could tie in marriage, adoption, laws, discrimination, genetics, pride, people we’ve known, history, Stonewall, FOX News, Obama/Biden, slash, fanfic, the Holocaust, rainbow rings, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Santorum, Martha Stewart, and Coca Cola if we really wanted to, but most of that wouldn’t be considered terribly pertinent to the actual question.

On the other hand, sexual orientation is pretty much the subject at hand, since the question is about when straight people realized they were straight. I originally wrote this question (long ago) as a sort of reminder to my straight peers that while they may have “always” felt that they were straight, they usually expect gay folks to have a moment when they realized they weren’t straight, as if a straight orientation were the tabula rasa of the entire human race and it took something to knock a gay person into gayness.

If you are proud that you’re straight, more power to you, I guess. It makes about as much sense as being proud of blond hair, brown eyes, any kind of ancestry, astrology sign, or, frankly, gay pride. People don’t have to do anything to get it, but they’re proud of it nonetheless. It’s fairly tangentally related, though.

proXXi's avatar

It just seemd like @tinyfaery was balking at my comment, odd to me.

I thought my comment had a positive feel to it.

MacBean's avatar

@proXXi: It has the same sort of positive feel as “White pride!”

proXXi's avatar

I don’t follow.

MacBean's avatar

It’s the oppressive majority. What exactly are you proud of? Marginalizing people who are different? Treating them like lesser citizens for things that aren’t under their control? Making their lives more difficult than they have to be?

proXXi's avatar

Um, when did I mention on Fluther that I Marginalized anyone different, (whatever that means).

So as a white person I shouldn’t have pride?

The ‘Celebrate Diversity’ bumperstickers is see don’t have any disclaimers for exceptions.

Response moderated
tinyfaery's avatar

Refer to my post in the suggestions for ABers. You will be called out on your shennanigans/bullshit. Mostly by me. There are a few people and topics I will defend here on fluther, without fail.

proXXi's avatar

@tinyfaery, was your last comment directed at me?

SABOTEUR's avatar

I dunno…

…when I discovered there were people who weren’t?

proXXi's avatar

So according to some, some groups are allowed to feel pride and some are not.

I call total bullshit.

True diversity includes everyone.

laureth's avatar

Any group can feel pride. It’s like prayer – no one can really stop you from doing it.

However, it doesn’t mean that your group needs any help or support from the rest of us to get all proud, because it hasn’t been trod upon enough where “lack of pride” is a real issue. And it is also understandable how certain minority groups (ones traditionally trod-upon by your group in power) might be wary of a surge in pride from that quarter, since it often means their group getting its collective butt kicked.

tinyfaery's avatar

You got called out on the fact that you totally misread and misinterpreted the question and now you’re all bitter.

Poor straight people. Centuries of discrimination, violence and bigotry would sure warrant a whole movement of pride and political action. You go.

proXXi's avatar

LOL, Don’t assume I misread the question based on my statement @tinyfaery.

I’m just fully putting my money where my mouth is when it comes to a mentality of equality.

You’d shit eggrolls if I suggested blacks or jews were responsible for something I’m unhappy about yet you fully expect your comment about straights to be accepted.

Who the heck are you to decide what I can and cannot be proud of?

I sincerely submit that you aren’t interested in equality and ‘diversity’. But rather you are invested in fingerpointing and complaining.

Read my above comment again: I’m not bitter, I’m proud.

tinyfaery's avatar

Uh huh. Keep telling yourself that and deny the struggle of those who have fought and died for what you take for granted.

You can feel proud everytime you take a shit, for all I care.

proXXi's avatar

Lovely…

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

When I accepted I would always want men and could see myself choosing a permanent relationship with one, excluding ever having romantic involvements with women. I couldn’t make that decision for a woman to the permanent exclusion of men. Sexual attraction is a Gray area but my commitments are not.

DrC's avatar

I didn’t “find out”, I just always was, I guess…...about 3 or 4 years old in Montessori School is when I first wanted to kiss a boy. But even when I wanted to experiment with a girl in junior high, I still knew I was straight.

dpworkin's avatar

I became certain when I made love with a man and his wife, and while I found sex with him curious and interesting, it just wasn’t… sexy. It wasn’t disgusting or gross or scary or weird, just much less sexually exciting than being with his wife. So I figured I gave it a pretty good shot; he was a great guy, a good friend, I felt relaxed, but guys just have never done it for me.

augustlan's avatar

@dpworkin I love that you at least tried it. Thanks for sharing that. :)

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
dxs's avatar

I am so glad I creeped on your profile Laureth

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