Dear Bi Brigade,
I'm 17 and very confused! This past year I began to recognize my attraction to some girls… well, one girl in particular. She's pretty masculine and carries herself flawlessly. I fell pretty hard. The thing is that I go to an all girls school and I can't help but think maybe I'm just desperate (I know that sounds horrible). But maybe I'm only attracted to her because she looks like a guy.
I know I like guys, but for some reason I've always been sexually attracted to girls. I've always been more comfortable with girls but when I am attracted to one it's usually the short hair masculine type. Are bisexuals allowed to have a type? Am I bisexual or just desperate?
Cameron, 27, Writer and Bisexual Community Organizer:
A lot of bisexual people are only attracted to masculine people, or only feminine people, or only androgynous people. I can't answer the question of whether or not you're bisexual, but from what you've told me it sounds likes you might be. Too many young bisexual girls are told that they're merely “going through a phase”, which interferes with a persons natural process of discovering their true self. But I will tell you this: Falling hard for someone, being sexually attracted to someone, thinking that someone carries themselves flawlessly, doesn't sound like desperation to me. It sounds like real feelings.
Lynnette, 57, Host at The Bi Cast
If it were based on my experience as a young girl, I would say that you're bisexual. I suggest you explore some of the bisexual organizations websites for information and resources. such as BiNetUSA, Bisexual Resource Center and Biphoria in the UK has an excellent pamphlet for those wrestling with their identity.
Megan, 22, Registered Nurse:
I too had a lot of confusion when I first recognized my attraction to women. I thought that if I was truly queer, I should know definitively and precisely. Attraction is what you make of it, you are allowed to be the judge of how you feel, and that may vary or be experienced in different quantities and directions throughout your life.
Rose, 27, Non-profit Communications:
Good for you for starting to think about these things. Society has a very narrow definition of how attraction and relationships "should' work and who you "ought" to be attracted to. That definition has very little resemblance to how people actually feel and relate to each other. Finding out what feels right for you is up to one person – you.
Hansa, 40, Grad Student and Mother:
When I was around 17 I remember feeling attraction to all kinds of people, but thinking that I had to choose to be straight or gay. I did a lot of reading and there was very little on the topic of bisexuality, but I felt in sync with what I did find. I would say just take the time to feel what you feel and don't think you need to censor those feelings within yourself. Many, many people are or have been in your shoes, so don't worry.
Jeremy, 38, Mechanical Engineer:
I definitely think people of every sexual orientation can have "types" that they are more likely to be attracted to. I certainly have my own types. My best advice is to acknowledge who you are attracted to regardless of their sex, gender, or how they present themselves, and pursue a relationship with that person in an open and honest manner. The only way to find out who you really are is to explore and try things out.
For myself, I like to do a lot of research when I'm learning about a new subject, and I did the same thing when I was discovering my bisexuality. I inhaled every piece of queer media I could consume and read everything I could find about bisexuality. Some things she could look into:
Em, 24, Financial Software Analyst:
I think it is very thoughtful that you are trying to make sure this attraction is genuine. I definitely understand where you're coming from, and I think it is probably a common experience amongst bisexuals that the process of realizing it can be confusing as hell. I only discovered the terminology for my sexuality last year, and I'm 24.
Firstly, as others have said, nobody can define your sexuality for you. You are attracted to who you are attracted to. And bisexuals can definitely have a type. I can tell you that mine is the exact opposite of yours-- I typically like feminine women and men! At 17 -and 97- you have every right to continue to explore your sexuality. My one piece of advice would be to consider this woman's feelings. If you do end up getting involved with her, remember: clear, honest, open communication is key.