Helping you get through tough times

I think I might be a lesbian

holding handsIt can be really confusing when you think you might be attracted to someone of the same sex. It could take a while to understand how you’re feeling, and there is no need to rush.

Sexuality, like many things in life, develops over time. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure. Being young is a time of figuring out what works for you.

What does it mean to be lesbian?

Women usually describe themselves as lesbian when they find that they are physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to other women. It is not uncommon for women to have had experiences with and feelings for other women as part of exploring their sexuality. However, for women who go on to identify as lesbian, there is usually a strong physical and emotional attraction to women that they don’t usually feel for men.

There are lesbians in every culture and in every country. Remember, expressing yourself through your sexuality and being yourself is a positive thing, for you and everyone around you. You might encounter people who dismiss your feelings or think it’s not right, but it’s really important to remember that their feeling shouldn’t get to stand in the way of you expressing yourself.

Why are some women lesbians?

There’s no real explanation as to why some women are lesbian and others aren’t. There are theories about it being a result of genetic influences or because of social experiences or an interaction of the two. Some people recognise their attractions at an early age while others don’t develop attractions until they are well into adulthood. For some young people, however, they often begin to develop feelings and attractions to other women during teenage years. It’s important to note that a label is something you need to feel comfortable with – you don’t have to label yourself today or ever – the choice is yours.

How do I know if I’m lesbian?

There is no easy answer to this question. You can’t fill in an online test that will give you a definite answer. What’s important is you explore your feelings and attractions in your own time, and at a pace that makes you feel safe and comfortable. It’s also important to remember you don’t have to deal with your questions or problems by yourself. For example, you can talk to someone at BeLonG To.

How do I know if someone else is a lesbian? Some people choose to identify their sexuality openly and other’s don’t – it’s a personal choice. Your sexuality doesn’t define who you are or how you interact in the world and nor should it. With this in mind, you often won’t know if someone is a lesbian unless they tell you. How you dress and how you behave is about your personal identity, not a stereotype.

Lesbian relationships

Relationships are built on trust, love, commitment and affection and this is true for relationships of any type regardless of who is involved. Within these relationships there are both good times and bad. There are no specific rules that lesbian relationships follow – everyone is free to make them up for themselves and how a relationship will end up depends on how the two people feel about each other not their sexual orientation.

More information

Call, email or drop into BeLonG To,(01 670 6223) a support service for bisexual, lesbian, gay or transgender young people aged 14 to 23.

This article was last reviewed on 03 May 2017

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