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Jude's avatar

For those of you who are gay/lesbian or bi, when did you know (for sure)

Asked by Jude (31966 points ) March 2nd, 2010

For me, I dated fellas all throughout high school and whilst in University. I enjoyed sex with men, but, there was no emotional connection there (for me). There were no butterflies/fireworks and no, it didn’t develop into “that love” (the love that you’re supposed to have for you partner). Really, I cared for them a great deal, like how you would care for a good friend.

During those years, I found myself having crushes on women. I found them to be beautiful, their bodies -a wonderland (sorry, hee hee)… I loved the way that they moved, I loved their curves, and the way that women smelled. With close female friends, emotionally I was drawn to them. I fell in a love (with a few) and, of course, nothing happened. They were straight and the feelings weren’t reciprocated. Actually, I hid my true feelings from them (and quite well), so, I’m sure that most of them were oblivious… During that time, though, I really didn’t know what was going on with me – I was a bit confused and was trying to figure myself out. Yeah, that part sucked.

When I was 21, I went to a gay bar with a friend. It was my first time. When I walked in, the first thing that I saw were women dancing together.. close together. I saw women being affectionate towards one another… kissing/arms wrapped each other, and I was “Woah!...this is nice (haha)”. I got to meet and talk to various women throughout the night, and we ended up going back to a house party with a group of girls (the friend that I went to the bar with was friends with one of them). There was this one woman there; blonde, feminine, green eyes, a bit older (I was 21 at the time, she was 27) and I thought that she was incredibly sexy/beautiful. She was intelligent and interesting and I was immediately attracted to her. We talked, she flirted (I didn’t know what to do, so, I let her do her thing, haha). When she would get close to me, though, to whisper something in my ear, or grab ahold of my hips to pull me closer.. well, my body reacted—instant turn-on. I had never felt that before with a man. Eventually, she kissed me. That’s when I knew for sure. The feelings that I felt when we kissed, I had never experienced that before with a man. It was over-the-top.. amazing (heart racing, feeling a bit warm in the nether regions, passionate..curl your toes sort of kiss).

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28 Answers

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tinyfaery's avatar

I had always had crushes on girls, always. I started crushing on girls and guys at the same time. It wasn’t until I actually kissed a girl at the age of 18 that I knew for sure. Wowza!

fireinthepriory's avatar

It was more gradual for me. I dated guys in high school, but just like you @jjmah, I wasn’t into them romantically. I don’t mind sex with men, sometimes I like it a lot, but I never felt that “in love” emotional bond with men that I’ve dated or slept with, even ones I became incredibly good friends with and cared for a lot.

When I had my first crush on a girl in high school it actually came as a surprise to me, and I recognized it (it was really intense) but blew it off as a fluke. But then I started dating women in college, and I fell in love for the first time with one of them, and had the first really good sex of my life with one of them (a different one, haha). I realized towards the end of my senior year that I hadn’t dated a man since high school, and hadn’t slept with one since my sophomore year, and I thought – hey, maybe there’s something to this pattern.

I called myself bi for a long time, since I am attracted to some men, but I don’t feel comfortable with that term because I’ve never had that same kind of emotional attachment to a man that I have with women. Lesbian doesn’t seem right either though, so I usually go with “queer.” Leaves it open for future interpretation, I guess?

Leanne1986's avatar

I was aware that I found women attractive from a very young age. I was about 5 years old when I had my first “crush” on a female teacher. For years I considered myself to be a lesbian and I was fine with that and then when I was in my late teens I started to find myself attracted to men as well. That’s when I realised that I was bisexual. I am currently in a straight relationship and very happy but I am more likely to find females attractive than males (apart from my boyfriend wh is the most attractive person in the world to me).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well, I always thought everyone loved everyone and I was always attracted to both sexes/genders. When I was 12 and a friend’s cousin Ashley kissed me, everyone around us were shocked but I had no idea why. They asked me if I liked girls, I said ‘yes’..they asked me if I liked boys, I said ‘yes’. Then they said ‘well, then you’re bisexual’ – and I didn’t know what the word meant because I’ve only been in the country for a year and my English wasn’t all that great. I said ‘okay, then I am bisexual’ and thought nothing of it. Well, was I wrong! The next morning, my so called friends dropped me like a hot potato, they called me a ‘fucking bisexual’ and said mean things. I learned and quickly that being bisexual was not a good thing to be but I still didn’t get why. When I began high school and learned of other people and how they were disriminated against, I felt angry – never for myself but for others who felt ashamed of who they were. I joined the gay-straight alliance and dated boys and girls freely, took a girl to the prom, insults hurled at us but I held her hand tight and my head high. When I began NYU and became a peer educator for the LGBT office, I met people who were trans and people who were identifying as queer because they didn’t like boxes and categories and…well…bisexual really didn’t make sense to me anymore, because I didn’t want to say I am only attracted to the two main sexes/genders because, in fact, I am more attracted to ambiguous/androgynous, etc sexes and genders especially trans boys. Anywho, once I started working through my own gender identity and how the term woman didn’t apply, it all made sense…I was queer in all my identities. So you see I was always the way that I was but the terms and the feelings changed.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I knew that I was different when I was 8 or 9 years old, but of course, I had no words for it then. I didn’t understand it either.

I can safely say that I knew I was gay by the time I was 14, but I lived in the closet until I was 34. I don’t recommend that to anyone.

Now, I’m 46, and I live completely out of the closet. It’s incredible. I can breathe freely.

RAWRxRandy's avatar

I always was…?
I just didn’t ever have a thing for girls, I might have pretended because everyone else had a crush when i was in Elementary school but you’re young then. By 12–13 i knew for sure.

fathippo's avatar

I realised at some point to me people are more like ‘souls’ that can be beautiful regardless of their physical gender.

DominicX's avatar

See, your story sounds more typical. Mine wasn’t quite like that.

My earliest memory of finding another male attractive was when I was said a young male newscaster on TV was “pretty” and I must have been no older than 7. When I was 9, I developed a crush on a friend at school, but I didn’t really know what I was feeling. It was just a strange feeling that happened when I was around him and it almost made me not want to be around him because sometimes it made me feel sick and nervous.

Then when I was 11 and we learned about sex ed, I realized that I wasn’t like the other guys in my grade. There were so many guys who had a crush on this one girl because she was very attractive and I just couldn’t think of her that way. There was no attraction to girls for me. I just assumed it was because I hadn’t gone through puberty yet (keep in mind my voice didn’t change until I was 16) and that I would eventually be straight like the other guys. Throughout middle school, I really started realizing I was gay because I was so attracted to a couple a guys beginning in 6th grade, one of whom is my current boyfriend. I became almost a little obsessed with him. I was fascinated by him, I loved being near him, I thought he was just the cutest person I had ever met. (Little did I know that he was thinking almost the exact same thing about me at the same time).

It was in 9th grade and when I was 14 that I officially labeled myself as “gay”. That was also the time I had my first sexual wet dream and it involved a cute boy at my school. Soon after, I discovered masturbation. It was pretty much confirmed for me by then.

I’ll always be open to being attracted to the opposite sex, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m gay and I’m fine with it. :)

fireinthepriory's avatar

Heh, I though yours sounded more typical, @DominicX! :) I know a lot of people who’ve known they were gay since they were very young, far fewer who sort of “discovered” it later. I was excited when I read read @jjmah‘s story because it seemed more like mine than what I normally hear.

JLeslie's avatar

Interesting answers. Do any of you think that when you realized has anything to do with the environment you grew up in, either your home or school? That people who have always been around gay people, or are in households that are accepting of gay people, as a young person you are more likely to figure out your sexual orientation sooner, because you know being gay is an option?

Disclamer: I’m not gay

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie I’ve never thought about it – I guess I grew up around straight people, so to speak, never knew anyone other than myself who was different until high school.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@jjmah – Your story and mine are so similar, I’m kind of amazed.

I have had crushes on girls going back pretty much as far as I can remember, though they were very non-sexual and at the time, I had no idea what it was I felt or the words to describe it. I think my first crush was around age 4, she was my babysitter and I was just in awe of her. She was so nice, smart, and pretty and I just wanted to be in her presence all the time. After that, there was a girl in my neighborhood when I was 5, pretty much the same deal as the babysitter.. the kids teased me and called me her “puppy dog” because I just followed her around everywhere. Then there were a whole slew of camp counselors, babysitters, and teachers that I had huge crushes on.

Because I had no frame of reference and didn’t understand “gay” until later, I always reasoned that it was that I admired these girls, that I wanted a big sister, wanted to be like them, etc. Looking back, it’s obvious to me I had mad crushes on them. :P Actually, one of the girls I had a big crush on was the daughter of my dad’s friend, and my dad just told me she came out a couple months ago.. part of me still holds on to what I felt then and I was kind of like, “OooooOoo.. maybe I could date Heidi.” Haha.

Anyway, when I became cognitively aware of my attraction to women, I kind of freaked out and threw myself into being boy-crazy and straight. It’s odd, considering I grew up in SF. My mom is the hugest fag hag ever, so I always, always had gay men around because they were her best friends. There was always at least one gay “uncle” celebrating our family holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. The thing is, I knew not one single lesbian, so I had this weird, scary picture in my head about what “lesbian” meant. I was scared of the label and I actually couldn’t even say the word “lesbian” for a long time because it freaked me out so much.

So, I tried dating guys.. I really, really tried. The emotional connection was never there and when it came time to consider any sort of commitment to the guy, I freaked the hell out and ran. Like, everything in my being told me to run, so I did. Needless to say, I never had a boyfriend. I did experiment with guys sexually, and while it was okay (and sometimes good), I felt sex was totally overrated and had no idea why people made such a big deal out of it. Generally, when I slept with a guy, I felt bad inside afterwards, I pretty much would bolt the next morning, and then spend the next few days trying to sort out all the icky things I felt inside.

As I turned 18, I started accepting the idea of being with a woman a bit more and tentatively labeled myself as ‘bi’ because I was still convinced I liked men (in truth, I was just horny and guys were a pretty sure thing to take care of this). I became open to meeting a girl, but never did, which was frustrating. Then, when I was 20, a 3-year friendship turned into something more, very gradually, after she broke up with her asshole boyfriend.

It just kind of happened, where we both fell for each other. When we finally declared our attraction, it still took a month for me to work up the courage to even kiss her.. I remember she came to visit and upon saying goodbye, tried twice to kiss me, but I was so freaked out despite the fact that I really wanted to, that I kept my lips closed. Anyway, eventually we had our first kiss, which was ♫ AMAAZING ♫ and then moments later, we were getting it on. That, too, was amazing and something in my head clicked, like, Ooooohhhh.. so that is what everyone is talking about.

When I woke up in the morning, I expected that dread and fear to hit me, that I’d want to bolt like I always did.. but instead, it was peaceful, and happy. After that, it didn’t take me long to figure out I didn’t really want to date guys because of the lack of emotional connection.

OMG, longest response ever. I will help you put your eyeballs back in your head.

Symbeline's avatar

Bi here, always pretty much just knew. I never asked myself any questions about it because it just seems too natural to me.
Yes I often asked myself things about how and why and all, but I mean I was never bothered and I always accepted it as part of myself even when I was little, despite my unwillingness to really speak of it much to anyone.

fireinthepriory's avatar

@JLeslie It probably could help you figure it out, but it didn’t help me! I have an openly gay uncle, and I remember learning what gay was while playing that board game “Life” with him. When he went through the mariage part of the game, he put another little blue person in his car with him. I asked about it, my mom explained that while most boys want to marry girls, some boys marry other boys and some girls marry other girls. I think I was maybe 6. Don’t know why it took me like ten years to put the pieces together that I was one of those girls. :)

downtide's avatar

I see-sawed between gay and straight all through school, because I kept changing and I couldn’t figure out which I was. Realising at the age of about 20 that I was bisexual was one of those “d’oh!” moments.

DominicX's avatar

@JLeslie

I never even became aware of any gay people until 9th grade. I found out a kid at my school was gay and he seemed to be the only one that anyone knew. I never knew any gay people growing up. The only exposure I had to it was people being called “gay” at school as an insult. I didn’t even really know what it meant when I first heard it. My parents never even mentioned it and I was too embarrassed to talk about it with them.

Sure, I was raised in a liberal area, but there wasn’t much talk about being gay. It certainly wasn’t mentioned in sex ed.

I didn’t even really know it was an option. It took me a while to call what I was feeling “gay”.

BoBo1946's avatar

True story: Have two uncles; one was John Wayne and the other Pee Wee Herman(both deceased)! Both came up in the same home, loving parents (married 50 years), etc.

Go figure!

Cannot answer your question as I’m not gay, but thought this story would shed light on the subject.

Violet's avatar

It was after I fooled around with a girl in 6th grade

MacBean's avatar

When I was about eight years old I discovered there are people who like only boys or only girls and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Violet's avatar

Also when I was in elementary , I use too look at women in lingerie in magazines, and those tags attached to bras, of women in lingerie,

Leanne1986's avatar

@JLeslie As a young child I didn’t know many that I was aware of gay people and like, @Simone_De_Beauvoir said I just thought that it was normal to find anyone attractive regardless of whether they were male or female. My family and friends were aware that there were certain females that I liked and no one said there was a problem with that. I’m sure many thought that I just admired these females rather than fancied them. Thankfully my friends and most of my family are very relaxed about it and apart from a grandmother, nobody ever told me that I should be attracted to just males rather than females as well.

I wasn’t aware that there was a name for what I was/am until I was reading Dusty Springfields biography. She was a lesbian and there are quite a few mentions in her book Dancing With Demons if anyone is interested about her sexuality. When I read that I could relate and that was a real defining moment for me.

I never officially “came out” because I didn’t need to. People just seem to know but if anyone asks me then I am happy to say that I am bisexual and gender is just a coincidence when it comes to who I fall in love with.

In answer to your question @JLeslie I can’t think of how my enviroment could have played a part in my sexuality. I come from a military family so we were constantly moving around and so I was constantly getting to know new groups of people.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks to those that answered my side question. I was just wondering, because then I would think it even better to expose your children to gay people or at least the idea of it. I guess in media today gay people are being portrayed more and more, so it will become more and more commonplace and be a non-issue. That will be a great day.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@JLeslie well, in our case, all our friends are queer or trans (save for one, I think, who’s straight) so the kids interact with people of all sexualities and gender identities.

Draconess25's avatar

I think I always was, but when I was younger (11 or 12) I didn’t really grasp the concept of orientation in general. When my friend told me she was bi, it was like “Wait, so that’s why you’ve been staring at my boobs? Me too!” I didn’t really tell anyone until I was 14–15, & my family still doesn’t know.

Just_Justine's avatar

I was like you, I had never been attracted to women at school, well not that I was aware of. I met a lot of gay women and used to hang around in gay clubs a lot. But I was straight. I was dating a guy at the time I met my first “POW” in your face sexual attraction to a female. It was crazy, she was sitting on my lounge floor (as a guest) and looked up at me. I felt the bolt go through my eyeballs, hit all the important parts and end at my toes.

Most of my adult life I lived as a lesbian. Only in the last couple of years have I wanted to see men. I realize that sexuality is fluid and may change from time to time in some people in line with their current needs emotionally.

RAWRxRandy's avatar

ignore this post

brooklyn1213's avatar

When I was 5 I used to play house with my neighbors daughters(twins).they were the mommies I was the daddy.. ;-)

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