How do I know if I'm gay? I've always been attracted to men, have been sexual with one man and
loved it, but felt very guilty later. But I'm attracted to women and always have been, so I'm very
confused. Can you tell me if I'm a homosexual?
Thanks for writing. It's easy to see how you could be confused. People have a tendency to think everyone is
completely gay or completely heterosexual. The reality is much more complicated. Some of us are strongly
attracted to members of one sex, but also feel some attraction to members of the other sex. Men who are primarily
attracted to women may have some feelings for other men. Lesbians who are primarily attracted to women may
occasionally feel some attraction for men.
Some of us are strongly attracted to one sex and have no interest in others, men who are only attracted to men, for
instance, or heterosexual women who are only attracted to men. Finally, some people are attracted to both men
and women. We usually refer to them as bisexual.
No one else can tell define your sexual orientation for you, because you are the only one who knows how you feel.
Also, it's all right to let yourself be confused is that's how you're feeling. We all have times when we're confused
about something important in our lives, and that's okay.
The American Psychological Association has a helpful publication about sexual orientation (http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/orient.html), and you can find lots of
other useful information through some of the other Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender sites listed in our Resources Department. I hope this is helpful to you.
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.