10 août 2009

I think I'm bi but not sure if I accept myself for who I am.

ok well i’m bi and well at least i think i am i have an attraction for girls and i don’t completely understand why or how to deal with it . i wanna meet more girls like me but its hard when i cant except me for me what do i do

Kelley R

Hi there,

Thank you for coming to AlterHeros with your question.

It sounds like you are beginning to become aware of your attraction to girls and you are wondering if, and why, you are bisexual. Further, you are unsure on how to deal with being a bisexual and wish to meet other bisexual or lesbian girls.

First off, the most important step in accepting yourself for who you are is to learn about yourself and your feelings first. Coming here in attempts to understand your feelings is a great step in the right direction.

Teenage years can prove to be a difficult and confusing time for everyone. This is especially true with teens discovering their attraction towards members of the same sex. Going through adolescence and thus, the budding of sexuality, can be a time where teens face new experiences and questions about who they are. Not being completely sure of whom you are attracted to is not unheard of during this time.

Bisexuality is the term used to describe a person who is sexually attracted to both males and females. It is a part of the class of labels created to express a person's sexual orientation. As with the multitude of sexual orientations (gay, straight, lesbian, etc…) there are even some variations within bisexuality. Some bisexuals consider themselves to be attracted to both sexes equally, while others tend to prefer one sex over the other.

As for not completely understanding why you are bisexual, no one has truly discovered the one (or more) factor(s) that result in some people being homosexual while others are bisexual, heterosexual, etc… Of course, there are various schools of thought on this subject and all have their own explanations for how human sexual orientation comes to be.

One proposed explanation of sexual orientation is that one's sexual orientation is the result of biological processes in the body. This is often referred to as ‘nature' in the Nature versus Nurture debate. The effects of maternal hormone levels during pregnancy, varying sizes in different brain structures, along with a multitude of other biological processes, all are being scrutinized by researchers who are interested in locating the factors influencing varying sexual orientations. Currently, there seems to be a wide acceptance of this theory, especially from the LGBT community.

The flip side of the nature theory is the nurture theory. When one believes that sexual orientation is a result of nurture, they believe that one's sexual orientation is reinforced by environmental factors. Such environmental factors are thought to be parental or societal influences on the child growing up. Moreover, some believe that bisexuality or homosexuality is a conscious choice made by a person. The above logic forms the roots of many ‘ex-gay therapies' that claim that through a special treatment program, one can change their non-heterosexual orientation. There is, undoubtedly, an enormous controversy surrounding this therapy, with strong opposition from those who believe sexuality to be biological along with strong support from those who believe sexuality to be caused by environmental factors. The American Psychological Association has just recently published a press release concerning this topic and may be of interest to you: http://www.apa.org/releases/therapeutic.html?imw=Y

There are many more beliefs about how our sexual orientations come to be. If you are interested, I encourage you to explore some of the other theories too.

As for your uncertainty on being able to “deal with” bisexuality; what about it makes you unsure? Is it the possible negative social reaction you may receive for being bisexual? It is true that people who do not identify as heterosexual may face some challenges based on their sexual orientation. However, we as a society have progressed considerably, especially in the U.S., in the attitude and treatment towards members of the LGBT community. While it is not perfect, and the LGBT community still has to face many battles that heterosexual people do not, the environment is more accepting in more areas of the world. Finding good social support is key to being open and confident in one's sexuality. With this positive support, it is easier to bare the burdens that are sometimes placed on LGBT individuals. I encourage you to find a local Gay and Lesbian Community Centre (GLCC) or perhaps even a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club at school. These groups are an excellent way to meet and get encouragement from youth going through the same process of discovering and embracing their sexualities. If you are unable to join any type of local GLCC, the internet hosts a wide variety of forums specifically for LGBT youth. Performing a simple google search for “LGBT youth forums”, or perhaps something more specific to you, can open up a huge selection of sites. Please keep in mind that anyone can join message board forums, and some people may not actually be who they say they are. Therefore, always take proper measures to protect your identity online. Do not give out any private information such as your full name, address, phone number, etc… If you choose to meet someone you have only met online, it is especially important to do so safely. It is good to take an adult or friend (or group of friends) with you. Meeting in a very public area, such as a mall, is also recommended as opposed to going somewhere isolated and remote.

I also realize that maybe the prospect of having a same-sex relationship is a new and possibly, anxious feeling for you. It is normal to feel this way and perhaps it may not be a bad idea to first come to terms with your sexuality before pursuing any sort of romantic relationship. At the same time, you may be thinking that having a same-sex relationship will help you ‘figure things out' about your sexuality, and that's okay too.

Discovering and understanding your bisexuality can be a period of great stress, as well as a time of excitement and revelation. This is a process that takes time and doesn’t need to be rushed, it is your own personal journey with you in the driver’s seat. You do not have to go it alone, a trusted adult or friend can be a great asset to you. AlterHeros has some articles from various LGBT organizations that talk about self-discovery and bisexuality too. Here is one I came across that was written by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG): https://alterheros.com/english/dossier/Articles.cfm?InfoID=91

Please feel free to come back to AlterHeros with any other questions you may have.

Kelley, for AlterHeros