Can I trust my feelings regarding my sexual preferences?

Hello Em, thanks for submitting your question to Alterheros. It sounds like what you’re going through is really difficult. Having feelings of frustration, confusion and ambivalence is natural, and you are not alone in how you feel.

People disagree about whether sexuality is a choice. You will find many different arguments supporting and disclaiming the idea. Aside from those debates however, it is important to note that sexuality is complex and ever changing just like other aspects of our lives. Perhaps that sounds odd to you, but think for example, how our sexual desires change with time- what turns you on today, might not turn you on in a few years right? I firmly believe that the same truth lies with our sexual orientation. It is not something that is set in stone, after all we are humans who go through many phases in life, always discovering and constantly learning new things about ourselves; the process is endless, and sexuality is no exception.

People often mistakenly assume that sexual orientation, sexual identity, sexual desires and sexual behavior line up in neat lines, but in reality, it doesn’t often work that way. And that’s 100% okay! Please don’t feel that if or when you decide what your sexual orientation is, that it inevitably limits you to a certain prescribed array of sexual desires and sexual behavior. Nor does it mean you can’t ever change your mind! And if you do change your mind, that doesn’t necessarily make your first decision, or picking your first girlfriend/boyfriend wrong, its just another progression in your life.

Some people might accuse you of being fickle, or not being able to “choose” either men or women, but there really IS no need to “choose” one over the other. That is why pansexuality or bisexuality exists (among other variations). If you feel attracted to women for most of your life, and then suddenly realize you also like, or even, prefer men, that is perfectly understandable. People around you, such as your parents should not expect you to “stay gay” forever, nor should you lead them to believe they might one day convince you to no longer be gay, because they would prefer if you were straight. It is not up to them to decide for you what you like and what you don’t like.

As for your own certainty, you should trust yourself. It sounds like you feel doubt out of anxiety about coming out to your parents, and how society can disapprove of homosexuality. Although it is completely valid and healthy to identify these feelings and concerns, it is important to not let them completely conquer your mind – respect your own intrinsic gut! From what you’ve written, it sounds like you know already. I’d say it would help to surround yourself with in a safe space of positive and supportive friends, relatives or community groups; people whom you feel comfortable with and that won’t judge you. Don’t feel pressure to come out to people you don’t feel comfortable with – you have no obligation to discuss it with your parents or with anyone that you don’t wish to discuss it with.

I hope that I’ve helped make things a bit clearer for you. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more questions.

For Alterheros,


About Evelyn Kuang

Evelyn holds a BA in Psychology, Sexual Diversity Studies, and Social Studies of Medicine. She also has work experience in Women’s Healthcare, and Sexual Healthcare Clinic. She was also an intern at a Alcohol and Substance Abuse Recovery program. In 2008, she was part of the organizers for Vagina Monologues College Campaign @ McGill.

I love counseling, education and debunking myths. I’m very passionate about sexual healthcare and seek to change the way we think, tolerate and perceive sexuality in all its facets.

Leave a comment