Thanks for trusting AlterHeros with your questions. As I understand it, you are feeling confused about your sexuality and you are wondering which label fits your situation. First off, I want to tell you that it is normal to have these questions and most of your peers are going through a similar process of determining their identity. For many people, this process of constructing our identity as it relates to sexual orientation, tends to intensify when we are going through puberty and this is likely why you describe these feelings as having begun (or become more intense) within the past couple years.
Sexuality can be a complex subject, and for many, determining our sexual orientation is not as straightforward as we would like it to be.
You mentioned that over the past couple of years you’ve begun to feel an attraction to men and that this is in conflict with your desire to have a wife and family. When we are growing up, a future in which we are expected to marry and have children is shown to us as the ideal way of life. A lot of us tend to adopt this and use it as a blueprint for how we imagine our own life will progress, and it’s a valid option for many people. Ultimately, though, it’s important to acknowledge that this narrow view of what constitutes a “happy life” is only one version of innumerable possibilities for your future. I want to point out to you that there are countless people who live a wonderful life that are not a part of a heterosexual couple with children.
Increasingly, as laws and shifting public opinion make it easier, queer people are able to adopt a version of this “husband, wife and children” blueprint that you have mentioned and use it to map out their futures in the same way that many straight people do, adapting that model as is necessary to their specific situation. You can absolutely still have a committed relationship and family, it may just not look exactly how you once thought it would. Conversely, many queer people have also lived their lives and found happiness in ways that are in stark contrast to this heteronormative model. For some, this has been because they have had to, and for others because they have chosen to. I say this to highlight that regardless of your sexuality, you still have the potential to create a life that makes you feel happy and fulfilled, even if it doesn’t look exactly like you expected.
I don’t know what your sexual orientation is, but your sexuality does not need to determine your happiness. Many people are scared that if they aren’t straight, then they can’t live the life they’ve imagined for themselves, and although it’s true that our future plans may need to adjust as we learn more about ourselves, that doesn’t mean that the future isn’t still bright. There are many possible versions of your future, and all of them have the potential to be wonderful.
A part of the process of accepting ones’ sexuality for queer people can sometimes include what I would describe as a grieving process. This can involve accepting that the life that we have envisioned for ourselves is not going to happen for us in exactly the way that we had expected. I mention this because I want you to know that you are allowed to grieve this loss if it feels like a loss to you. It’s normal and understandable, but as hard as it may be, try not to dwell on things that are outside of your control, and remember that no ones’ life goes exactly according to plan regardless of their sexuality.
To conclude, although I don’t have a simple answer for you regarding what your sexual orientation is, I want to reinforce the fact that regardless of what it is, you don’t need to worry or feel overwhelmed by it. No matter your orientation, try to give yourself time to explore the thoughts and feelings that you need to. Although you may want to, you don’t need to know everything about your sexuality or put a label on your orientation right now. As far as labels go, you can pick one if you want, and possibly change it later if you feel like it no longer fits (or you can forego a label altogether). Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to experience life, and you will find that over time things will become more clear. Most importantly I want you to remember that, no matter what, a happy future is always possible.
Thanks so much for reaching out Dimitar, and please feel free to send any further questions you may have.
Wishing you all the best – in the present and for your future,
Matt from AlterHeros