I have been trained to hate men... am I lesbian ?

I’ve often wondered if I’m lesbian, bi, or straight. I’m physically attracted to men, but I find that I just can’t trust them, can’t open up to them and sometimes I feel like I can’t be strong and independent w/them. My father cheated, and gambled, so my parents divorced when I was 8. I moved in with my aunt, who is so anti-men..I can’t help but think that I’ve been ‘trained’ to hate men..even though I admire their bodies. I’ve tried very hard to get along with men, but it never seems to work, physically I can admire them, but I always run dry when the time comes, and we almost always end up fighting non-stop. There is someone (female) who is very special to me right now, and I find my eyes checking her out without even knowing about it. I can tell she enjoys it, so I’ve allowed my feelings to develop. I can’t directlyaddress my feelings or ask hers because of her age, but I might eventually, if we stay friends. I’d rather have kids and a family, is it possible to


Hi Susan,

Thanks for writing to AlterHéros. I hope that we will be able to help you find some answers to your questions. Sexual orientation is based on the gender of the people for whom we feel a physical and emotional attraction. Sexual orientation can also change with time. It’s not because you find yourself heterosexual that it enables you to develop feeling for a person of the same sex. I can’t tell you how you should define your sexual orientation. If things change and people change, so can their sexual orientation, it’s up to you to define yourself as you see fit. What matters is how you see yourself and the importance you give to the attractions and emotions you feel.

I assume that you feel like there might be a point of commonality between your childhood experiences and your ability to make contact and invest yourself in a relationship with men. The experiences we go through and the memories that marked us, touched us deeply can leave their trace, even after so many years, and influence the person we become. If I understand correctly, you have a physical attraction to men, but can you get emotionally attached as well? You say that when the time comes, you run dry. When the time comes for what, settling down, sexuality…? I can’t be sure of what you were trying to say but if you do always get confronted at the same point in a relationship, maybe that’s something to look into. Is it a trust issue you have with the opposite gender, do you or your boyfriends have relational issues, communication issues etc. There could be many factors related to this situation. If you desire pursuing a relationship with a man, looking into the factors that may influence you and your relationship and talking about it could be beneficial.

Furthermore, bisexuality means being attracted to both men and women physically and emotionally. You can have a steady relationship with a man and then have the next with a woman or vice versa. Or you can have only sexual attraction for one gender and sexual / emotional attraction for the other… On the other hand, I want you to know that it is possible to be lesbian or bisexual and have a family and kids. If your present partner is a woman you can still have a family. Depending on where you live, local adoption can be an option and so is a medical intervention. It’s a matter of redefining the traditional image and the definition we have of a family.

Good luck