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for years, i've struggled with my sexual orientation. i started questioning myself in about seventh or eighth grade. i'm came out as bi, and then lesbian, my senior year of high school. but the more i think about it, i can't find a term that really fits. i've realized that i've only ever been seriously romantically attracted to gay men. but i've never had sex with a biological man, nor do i particularly like the idea of it. i'm not bisexual, because i am not attracted to both sexes. i'm not a lesbian, because i've never really been romantically attracted to a woman. i'm not pansexual/romantic, because i'm not necessarily sexually or romantically attracted to any and all genders. (it doesn't help that i've also been trying to come to terms with what my gender identity is as well.)

none of this confusion is helping my depression. in fact, it's more than likely adding fuel to the fire. although i haven't been diagnosed, next chance i get to talk to someone, i'm going to discuss the possibility of having borderline personality disorder. which then begs the question if that could be the source of not being able to pinpoint my identity.


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I also went through a phase where I was quite unclear about my sexual orientation. I do have Borderline Personality Disorder, and so that could have been a part of it, but I think it was also that I was very mentally ill at the time. I was very confused because I felt gay, but I also wasn't able to really be attracted to/have a relationship with a woman. For me, it was that I was so sick that I just didn't have energy for anything outside myself for a long time. As I started to get better, feelings started to emerge again, and I have been in a stable long term relationship with a woman that I love very much for over two years now. But that didn't/couldn't happen for me until I was about a year into treatment, on meds, in therapy, all that. I had some serious stuff of my own to work out first. Not saying that's what's happening with you, but that's what happened with me. You mention that sorting out this issue might sort out your depression, but it could also be the other way around.

I don't think it's very uncommon to be unclear about your sexuality, or to have aspects that are a bit fluid/defy description. I call myself a lesbian because I don't have any desire to be with a man in reality, and I've very committed to my female partner, but the only porn that really does it for me is heterosexual porn, so that's the porn I watch. Why? Who knows. And I drove myself crazy over it for a long time, but eventually I came to realize that sexuality is complicated, and that labels can only really capture so much of what's actually going on.

When I was struggling with this and people told me to just give it time, I wanted to deck them. I felt like I needed to know right that minute. But looking back on it, I realize that I was just chasing my own tail around in circles and I really did have to just try to let it go a little and give things time to even out. And they did, in the end.

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  • 2 months later...

vic+oria, have you ever thought about giving yourself permission not to answer the question? Do you actually need the label? If the work of Kinsey and those who have followed has shown us anything, it is that human sexuality is a spectrum rather than a set of fixed positions. Almost no one is absolutely straight, or absolutely gay, and many more people experience moments of same-sex attraction or interest than are willing to acknowledge it to themselves or others because of learned social barriers. So any declaration of absolute sexual preference is by definition an exaggeration to some degree. Admittedly, if as you say you are a woman strongly attracted solely to gay males, that puts you in a confusing position, but who says you have to be anything in particular?

Three things to keep in mind:

1. You are you, without reference to anybody else; that's all you have to be, and it's who you were meant to be.

2. When you find the special person to spend your life with, that person is going to be attracted to the whole package that makes up you, and vice versa, and such questions as orientation will become irrelevant.

3. Labeling yourself in terms of sexual preference limits your potential pool of partners. (What's up with that?) Why not give yourself the freedom to simply feel attracted whenever, and to whomever, you feel attracted? As a guy I know likes to say, "It's all good, honey."

You never know, someday meeting you may change someone's mind about their orientation.

If you absolutely must have a label for yourself, instead of Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bi, etc., how about just: Sexy.

Or, if that doesn't fit your style, you could just say, "I'm fabulous." Let them figure it out from there... ;)


[Grammar edit.]

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That's why some people like the umbrella term "queer"

That's why some people don't like the umbrella term queer

Do you need an orientation? People like you for being you.

When you love somebody it does not matter.

I understand it that it's weird to others, and that is very alienating. Who knows everything about all things?

Given a chance, kind people come around,

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  • 1 month later...

I agree with Cerberus. The GLBT community, while it is our community sometimes makes us feel like we need to label ourselves so we know where we fit. Some groups of gays and lesbians think that if you're not one or the other you're in denial, or a fence sitter or whatever. And even if your local community isn't like that, you can struggle with it internally. I still struggle with that issue even now, and you know what? You just can't care. You are you, and you don't need a label or a box to tell you how or who to be, or who to love. I consider myself a lesbian (I guess) and have been dating and in only female relationships since i came out 7 years ago. Would I date a guy again? Maybe, I've thought about it. Does it weird me out. Yeah but hey, if that comes up I'll deal with it then. Life is too short to worry about things like labels.

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