General Question

Jude's avatar

For those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, when you first found out what it meant to be that way; how did you find out, how did it make you feel?

Asked by Jude (32198points) April 2nd, 2009

Before, you, yourself realized that you were that way. Was it through a movie, t.v., music, or something (or someone) else?

For me, it was that Bronski Beat video “Smalltown Boy”. I felt so much for that guy..

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29 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

This is a weird question.

Jude's avatar

@tinyfaery I don’t think that it is. For me, I remember when I was younger and seeing that video. I think that I was 14. I had no idea that I was a lesbian then, but, I did know that there was something different about me. When I watched the video, I realized that the whole gay thing was taboo and how he was shunned by his parents. I don’t know., it just something that stuck with me at the time. I can’t explain it..

lefteh's avatar

I realized when a gay guy jumped over the gear shift in his car to mount me, and I felt an incredible electricity.
My immediate reaction was one of excitement and realization. It explained so much of my childhood.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

It’s hard to say what happened. When I first “liked” a guy I was 9 years old but I did not know what I was feeling. After being taught sex-ed I knew that guys had sex with girls and they were supposed to be attracted to them. I was 11 at this time I believe. And all I knew is that I kept thinking boys were cute and it was bothering me. I felt embarrassed around certain boys in my classes because of that. I remember thinking “eventually I’ll like girls”; I worried about it a little at first but then figured I was just taking longer than the other guys. During middle school, I kind of ignored my attraction and just didn’t think about. I wasn’t interested in “going out” with anyone and so there wasn’t much reason for me to think about it.

Then when I was 14 it suddenly dawned on me that I was indeed gay and that it wasn’t going to change. Yeah, I’m a late bloomer, my voice changed at 16 and is still pretty high, but at that moment in 2005 when I was 14 I finally realized that I was gay. It was all on my own, nothing helped me realize it. It was a weird feeling knowing I was different from most people I knew. It wasn’t until a couple years ago when my crazy thoughts of “pretending to be straight” and marrying a woman and such went away and I fully accepted it.

lefteh's avatar

@Dansedescygnes: I definitely remember the feeling you are describing. The one where you believe wholeheartedly that you will eventually be attracted to girls.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


I know! I thought that for a while too…

MacBean's avatar

I remember being shocked to find out at age eight or so that there are people who like only boys or only girls. It never occurred to me that anyone wouldn’t like both. I still have trouble with that concept, honestly.

As for being trans, I think the first time I heard about that in a context that made me stop and think ”Oh my god, that’s me!” was when I saw Ma vie en rose. I caught it on a movie channel at about 1 AM in the summer between 9th and 10th grade. I still ignored it and tried to convince myself that my body was right and I was really a mostly-straight girl, not a mostly-gay guy. But over the years the discomfort in my own skin and despair with being seen and identified as female has gotten to the point where I can’t fake it in my head anymore.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


It’s this kind of thing that makes me amazed that there are people out there who think bisexuality doesn’t exist. Of course, I’m not a huge fan of people who think everyone is bisexual either.

And being trans is tough. I spent 2 years on another website and became good friends (online) with an MtF transsexual from Canada and she explained so much about her life to me and there were still people there who treated her like a joke.

Mr_M's avatar

What I want to know is, why did Fluther decide this was a question for ME?

Jude's avatar

Thanks for your responses. I guess what I meant in my question (and I don’t think that I worded it well enough, so, maybe it was hard to understand) were moments like (and I’ll just give examples) – you’re watching “Roseanne” and you see a gay character on the show (Sandra Bernhard) – and whilst watching you’re thinking to yourself —maybe, that is ME? I also remember watching a movie where one woman gave the other woman a quick kiss on the lips after a long gaze—and I was intrigued. I didn’t quite understand why I was, though.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m uncomfortable with the language used in your question: how did you “find out” and being “that way”. I didn’t find out, nobody was hiding it from me, I just wanted a girlfriend and a boyfriend. Which “way” am I?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Sometimes I miss the obvious. I always liked Charles Nelson Reilly, and Jonathon Harris on Lost in Space, and Paul Lynde from Hollywood Squares as a kid, but I never could figure out why. Okay, Jonathon Harris’ character Mr. Smith on LIS was just creepy, but there was something ‘gay’ about his voice, although I didn’t see it that way at the time. I may have been attracted to his ousider persona. Its never been easy for me to fit in.

Gay folks were ostracized heavily in my generation, and still are, especially in the Midwest.

I never really figured out my bisexuality until I was in my late twenties, I saw lots of signs, but specifically ignored them, due to fears of my social envbironment. So yeah, I finally figured out I was bisexual, but it took a long time, and it seems that people are a lot more open about it nowadays. It was never that way when I was younger. I still have issues with it at times. Must be a generational thing.

Jude's avatar

@tinyfaery I’m sorry for the wording. I see what you’re saying. If I could go back and edit it, I would.

Edited to add: After I had first posted this question, I had to shorten it (it was flagged for being too long) and in my original question instead of using “that way”, I had said “gay, lesbian, bi and trans”.

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

@MacBean I remember being shocked to find out at age eight or so that there are people who like only boys or only girls. It never occurred to me that anyone wouldn’t like both. I still have trouble with that concept, honestly.

I had a similar revelation around 12, only it was more like finding it incredibly odd instead of shocked, I still find it incomprehensible…it’s like most of the world is homo/heterophobic, and I’m like why.

loser's avatar

I first knew that something was terribly wrong at the age of four. Our teacher seperated the boys and the girls to go play in opposite sides of the room and when I got over to the boys side of the room, the teacher came over and took me over to the girls side. After many years of stuffing my feelings, drug and alcohol abuse, being kicked out of high school, and seven years of therapy, it finally all came back out. It scared the crap out of me. One little sex change later, and here I am!

fireinthepriory's avatar

I never even thought about it. Then one of my best friends came out, followed closely by another one of my friends. One day gay friend no. 2 confided in me after school that she had a crush on gay friend no. 1. Surprising even me, my knee-jerk reaction was a very firm mental “WTF BACK OFF SHE’S MINE!!!” which, you know, got me thinking. :) I am attracted to so few people in general that it took a few years to figure out what I was, but now that I’m older (and have dated and slept with a few more people!) I’d call myself pansexual if I had to give it a proper name. Mostly I just think of myself as “queer.”

I didn’t think about the social ramifications of it at first either. Back in high school I was more worried about my friends than myself, who had much scarier and more conservative parents than I did. Even after that point I never really thought about it until I was in a long-term relationship with someone of the same gender. Of course that was a situation in itself; my first girlfriend refused to come out of the closet. (Literally wouldn’t tell ANYONE, including her best friends… how did we last 6 months again?) She was the exemplar of a self-loathing homophobe. That made me pretty anti-closet and pro-glbtq rights.

Myndecho's avatar

From a early age I had the feeling I may also fancy boys, I remember the first boy I thought was good looking. For years after that I went through stages of me saying to myself I fancy boys or I don’t. I got to about 14 and I honestly thought I was straight, but here’s the thing, straight but I just fancied a few boys.
I had an affiliation towards anything gay for the next few years. By the way Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy is brilliant. But I never had feeling for boys, I fancied a few of my friends. About two years ago I just accepted it.

adreamofautumn's avatar

To be honest, I never thought about it. One day my best friend said “you know you like me more than your boyfriend right?!” I told her she was wrong and insane at that. Within a month we were beginning what ended up being a 2 year relationship. I look back and see some “cliches” about being a lesbian that I was culprit for (like my undying devotion to both Buffy and Xena hahaha), but honestly, I never thought about it and when it finally occurred to me I just rolled with it, never even bothered to question it really.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I never knew I was only supposed to be attracted to one sex – I always thought everyone was attracted to everyone until a girl kissed me in front of my friends when I was 12 and the next day I had no friends – they called me ‘bisexual’ as if that word was spit to them and I didn’t know what it meant but I learned that it was something to be ashamed of…I didn’t allow myself to feel ashamed however and started to explore, went on to join a GSA in my high school, be a support to others too afraid to talk, etc. When I got to college, I learned of transgender individuals and of what a crappy concept gender is, in general and eventually I figured bisexual was no longer an applicable label for me and I’ve aligned myself with all people who are queer in either sexuality or gender expression…a couple of years ago, I began to question my own gender identity and realized that ‘woman’ no longer was something I wanted to align myself with though, obviously, I align myself in the fight against sexism and do consider myself a feminist…

fathippo's avatar

like all your life you have felt uncomfortable or even angry when people are constantly telling you what you are ‘supposed’ to be, and it’s like they ridicule you for it and dont take you seriously kind of thing.
Also the way that from the moment you are born you are labeled and stereotyped because of your gender, it’s maybe hard to get anybody who has accepted and even takes pride in these seperations to take any difference from this seriously… maybe

1000oceans's avatar

all my friends started getting crushes when they were in 7th grade. and for whatever reason i just thought crushes were something that happened one day. kinda like how you start your period around average age 12 to 14 or boobs at a certain age, you would start developing crushes at a certain age too.

i tried dating a boy when i was in the 9th grade,his name was scott and we held hands sometimes but, mostly just listened to music in the hall at lunchtime. i would never kiss him and it just didn’t feel right to me

i assumed i was just a late bloomer until i was around 17 years old and started realizing that my closest friends that were girls i usually liked to make laugh and had feelings for them cause i would miss them alot more than i would miss someone i thought of as just a friend…i had my first girlfriend when i was this age, maybe closer to 18

ellen degeneres was my reality, i think i was around 10 or 11 when she came out, maybe 12 and i remember thinking it was really cool that someone could just be themselves..but, never really occured to me that i was that too…i did relate to her entirely though…

matchbox cars at the drive through at mcdonalds or barbie? haha

downtide's avatar

As early as I can remember, I used to think that I should have been born a boy, and that something was very wrong. I didn’t realise anyone else felt the same way, or that anything could be done about it, until I was 30. As for being bisexual, I figured that one out sooner, maybe in my early 20s, after being unable to decide whether I was actually straight or gay, and finally coming to the conclusion that I was both. In any case it’s difficult to define your sexual orientation in terns of “same sex” and “opposite sex” when you don’t know what your own sex is.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@downtide definitely agree with that – as I don’t identify with a gender, my husband always says he has no sexuality because there is no sexuality other than queer to describe a man attracted to non-gendered people…though mostly he is attracted to female bodied people which I fall into

MacBean's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: He is you-sexual! :D

loser's avatar

@MacBean Hey, I like that! :-)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MacBean lol actually there is a whole unofficial group at NYU that is Alena-sexual (over the past 6 years the concept caught on)

emeraldisles's avatar

I just always knew I was different and that I didn’t feel the samw way at all about things as other people my age.never anything like what they were into.

darkbookshelf's avatar

I found out pretty much when I started romantically liking people. I didn’t really think about the possibility of being gay, and I had crushes on the opposite sex. One day I sort of just realized that ‘hey, that person’s pretty attractive’ which led to ‘i have a crush on this person, who shares my gender’, which then led to ‘so i’m gay. cool.’. I didn’t really feel like it was a big deal, it was just something about me.

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