What to do if you think you’re bisexual

Bosho asks:  I have been recently conflicted in the romantic sense.  I am a teenager who always thought I was straight.  However; I have became friends with this guy whom I really get along with.  We have hung out a few times and it has been really nice for me; I feel really happy with him.  But, whenever I think about it, I get really confused about the whole thing.  I feel I am bi-sexual but he is openly gay.  I also don’t feel I can express anything with my other friends, even my closest friends.  I am so scared that they will abandon me in this situation.  This has been plaguing me for the past few weeks and I really want to know how I can solve it.  I feel I should talk to him about it and get his opinion about the matter.  I feel he would listen to what I have to say, but I have a “I don’t want to rock the boat” nature and I don’t want to offend him or hurt his feelings.  Even though this is holding me back big time, I still want to solve this issue.  I figure that my options are talking to him about it and possible ceasing our friendship or worst of all, coming out as bi-sexual and facing the likely harsh consequences of doing so.  

Hi Bosho –

I am a dog.  I have no concerns about who is “normal” and who should be attracted to what sort of person.  I only care about my Pack Members being happy.  And it’s clear that you’re pretty confused and frightened right now.

Studies say that somewhere between 2 and 5% of people identify themselves as bisexual, and many more women experiment with bisexuality (and we can guess that at least that many feel it but don’t admit it).

You ask what you should do.  I would say to give it time.

The only real mistake you could make at this young age is to do anything that would hurt your reputation, or worse, your actual safety.  At this age, your hormones are going wild, and it makes total sense to me that you’re feeling attractions right and left.

So what if you… just let them?  What if you said “Okay, this morning I was attracted to that boy and that girl and those girls and that teacher and…” and left it at that?

Meanwhile, hang out with the people you want to hang out with.  Maybe you’ll have some experiences along the way that make you more aware of yourself.  Someone hugs you, and you really like that hug, more than usual!  You develop a really strong crush on someone.  A girl or a boy kisses you in fun, and it really affects you.

I give the same advice to teens of all sexual orientations – just let things take some time.  Teens are in such hurries!  If you just worry a bit less about what you are, and concentrate more on who you like to be with, and, again, keep yourself safe, I think you’ll find that the answers come to you over time.

If I’m understanding you correctly, you’re wondering if this new friend of yours will accept you saying that you believe you’re bisexual.  I would imagine he would, given that he has also faced the enormous difficulty of coming out with his sexuality.  I suppose it’s possible that he, as some gay people have, might show intolerance to the idea of bisexuality, and insist that you have to be hetero- or homosexual, and that there’s nothing else; but that’s a pretty rare viewpoint.

The scariest, and most important, thing for you to do is to find out who you can talk with, and do so.  I’m a big fan of psychotherapy – not to “cure” you of your feelings, but to help you work through the difficulty of this time, of the social constraints, and of finding a supportive network of friends.  I say “scariest” because, just as you say, there will be those you approach who don’t tolerate you feeling the way you do.  So be careful.  (One great thing about therapists is that they’re sworn to confidentiality, so can’t go barking to everyone else about the secrets you tell them!)

Meanwhile, as you know very well, I like jumping up on EVERYBODY and licking their faces clean!  I don’t know if that makes me bisexual.  Bi-crazy I guess!  So please feel free to use me while you go through this.  Ask me anything you like, and I promise I’ll help in any way I can.

Just please, stay safe.

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