Knowing whether or not you might be gay is not an easy question to answer for everyone. Some people feel sure of their sexual orientation from an early age and others take much longer to discover it.
In the end, only you will be able to decide if you are gay or not, but there are some questions and information you can consider as you're trying to sort out your feelings.
What Does It Mean To Be Gay?
Gay people are sexually attracted to and may fall in love with other people of the same gender. They may also feel some degree of attraction to another gender, but they identify as gay. A person might realize they are gay from a very young age, and others may realize it much later. Some young gay people may feel different, but be unsure about why or how they are different from their friends or peers.
Forget What You Think You Know About Gay People
There are a lot of stereotypes out there about gay people, but just like any stereotype, you can't assume that they are true for every person. There is no particular mannerism or look that is "gay." Just like any group of people, preferences, looks, interests and style varies a great deal from person to person.
Just because you are gay does not mean that everyone will automatically know. Most gay people don't wear banners proclaiming their orientation, and chances are you already know many people who are gay, but just don't fit into the 'gay stereotype'.
What Do My Sexual Fantasies Mean?
Sexual fantasies are not always easy to interpret, but research has shown that many people who do not identify as gay have had same gender fantasies at some point. Just because you might fantasize about a same gender sexual experience, doesn't necessarily mean that you're gay. Also, many young people have a lot of intense sexual fantasies about different people and situations. Usually as they get older their feelings and orientation will become more clear.
Sexuality Is Fluid.
If you're trying to make sense of your feelings, it might help to know that sexuality doesn't fall solely into two categories - gay or straight. The best understanding that we have of sexuality is that it is fluid and very individual. Some people feel 100% gay or 100% straight, while others might feel like they fall somewhere on the continuum between gay and straight.
Unfortunately, no one can tell you 100% if you are gay or not, only you can know that. But there are some further questions you can consider. When you dream or have a fantasy, is it usually about the same gender? Do you have romantic and loving feelings towards someone of the same gender? Do you feel different from others that are of your same gender? Do you regularly have strong feelings for the same gender?
Even if your answers to these questions are yes, you still might feel unclear about your sexual orientation. That's okay. It may take some time for you to feel sure about it. For many people it helps to reach out to others who have been in the same position. Seeking community support through an LGBT organization online or in your area may help you to clarify some of your feelings. Check online for support near you.
One thing you need to know: whether you are straight, gay or bi, it is absolutely fine to be who you are.
Peter Field is a UK based counselor and therapist. Please visit his hypnotherapy Birmingham website for more information on sexual orientation confusion. His self hypnosis anxiety MP3 download and CD is now available.