21 février 2024

I was a tomboy. I admire girls. Am I straight or not?

When I was a child, I was a tomboy. I had short hair and wore boys clothes and got teased a lot, usually called a « he-she ». I simply liked short hair and loose clothes but as I got older I found myself curious about girls. I’ve always liked guys and have only dated and had sex with guys, but I look at and admire girls a lot. I used to look at girls only online because they turned me on and I thought that males, aside from their torsos, looked weird and even ugly. I dress, act, and look more feminine now, but also find that I’m fantasizing about girls and looking at girls more and even wishing I could try being with one. I do like and am used to guys though, and I get shy around girls even if they aren’t bi or lesbian. I’m not sure if I truly am bi, because I’m not sure I would truly like to be with a girl in real life, and trying it scares me even though I also want to. Am I straight and this is just a phase, or should I try it? What should I do?

Hillary Greer

Hi Sandra, thanks for coming to us with your question.

It seems like you are questioning yourself a lot right now, which can be a pretty intense process. First of all, I’d like to say that I don’t think being tomboy when you were younger, wearing your hair a certain way, or preferring certain clothes has anything to do with your sexuality and potential attraction to girls now as an adult. Many straight women have short hair and hate dresses, and the opposite can be true for lesbian and bisexual girls too.

Now I’m a little confused about what makes you scared to be with a girl. Is it because it’s new? Are you worried you wouldn’t know what to do? Are you worried about what other people would think? Are you worried you might like it and then have to start questioning more? It’s completely normal to feel scared about trying something new. This isn’t limited to sexuality. Starting a new job, moving to a new city, switching schools, even dying your hair can be scary! So of course being with a woman when you’ve only ever been with men might be scary and intimidating. Remember though that it is often when we challenge ourselves that we discover and learn the most. If your fear is something more serious though (for example: your safety) then maybe you should re-think some things and proceed with your exploration when the situation is different.

Only time, and experiences, will tell if your feelings towards women are ‘only a phase’. Many people believe sexuality is fluid and changes constantly over our lifetimes, so technically we might always be in a different phase. I’m really happy that you chose to write to Alterheros with your question, I would suggest you keep seeking support and advice while you are trying to figure all of this out. There are also a lot of books available for young adults who are questioning their sexuality that might be helpful for you. So, Sandra, to answer your question of ‘what should I do?’, I think you should just keep on exploring, remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with being bisexual or lesbian, and that you have plenty of time to figure all of this out, and give yourself a break.

I hope this helped, please feel free to keep asking questions!

Hillary, for Alterheros