QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I'm a heterosexual man and my best friend is a lesbian. I find our relationship very confusing. Sometimes I think she's sexually attracted to me, and I know I feel that way about her. Could she be going straight even though she has a girlfriend?

Answer

Thanks for writing. It's easy to see how you might be confused. Sexual attraction is complicated and filled with gray areas. There are some people who are so completely heterosexual that they never feel attracted to members of the same gender, and some people who are so completely lesbian or gay that they never feel attracted to members of the opposite gender, but most of us are somewhere in between. Many heterosexual men occasionally feel attracted to other men. Some may act on that attraction, some never do. Similarly, many lesbians occasionally find men attractive and may or may not act on those feelings.

This is a long-winded way of saying your friend may find you attractive, but that doesn't necessarily mean she is going to stop identifying herself as a lesbian. Have you talked with her about your confusion? That may be the best way to handle the situation.

It's nice to see you being thoughtful about this issue.

3/14/98


Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein, Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.

 

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