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If you are gay/lesbian/bi, how long did it take you to accept it?

(7 Posts)
Hairynigel Tue 03-Jan-12 10:02:34

I've been struggling to accept my sexuality since I was a young teen, I ended up just putting it to the back of my head and refusing to think about it.
I opened up to DP about how i might feel early on in our relationship but then i clammed up and refused to talk about it for years. He's very supportive of me but I just feel a bit uncomfortable talking about it with him.
I think I might be bi, but I just don't know. How do you actually know? I feel so ashamed and dirty when I find another woman attractive. Argh, I've just got a constant battle of how I feel in my head and I can't think straight (no pun intended) sad

Has anyone been through similar that would care to share some advice?

OTheHugeManatee Tue 03-Jan-12 10:17:59

I'm bisexual. I've been in and out of the closet since I was about 18, and lived as a fairly separatist lesbian for a while before falling in love with DP (a man) which I suppose arguably makes me a 'hasbian' hmm but to me really just makes me bisexual.

I found it a bit of an anticlimax coming out, as no-one was that bothered; quite liberating spending time in same-sex relationships; a bit confusing when I then fell in love with a man, particularly as I lost 'scene' friends when I did so; but generally a bit of a non-issue now.

The difficult thing about being bisexual is that part of your sexual identity is always invisible: if you're a bisexual woman and in a same-sex relationship there can be a pressure from the queer community to downplay attraction to men, as lesbians can perceive you as just 'trying it out' or 'doing it to impress men' and avoid getting involved with you. Equally if you're in a straight relationship everyone just assumes you're 100% hetero or else - in some cases - men can get all leery and start making naff jokes about threesomes <boak>. So whichever gender your partner is, it's possible to feel vaguely 'incomplete' at least in terms of how you're perceived, if not in terms of how satisfying the relationship is.

Feeling 'dirty' is actually quite common though. Coming out as a sexual minority is often described as having several stages, and while there are different accounts of these stages (and they don't necessarily follow one another in a linear way) it can help to see what you're experiencing as a) quite normal and b) a process that doesn't have to last forever. A bit more about stages of coming out here or have a google around.

If you're struggling with really negative feelings, there's also always the option of therapy. Pink Therapy is a good place to start if you want LGBT-affirmative counselling from someone who understands the issues involved. Even if you're not planning to leave your hetero relationship, you might feel more at ease with your own sexuality through talking it over.

Good luck x

Loveisthemessage Wed 01-Feb-12 23:58:55

check out the current thread "how long does a crush last?" and you might feel reassured. We are all complex creatures and you shouldn't feel bad about being attracted to different people. i was married for years and fell for a woman completely out of the blue. I don't call myself gay or bi or anything because it was about the person not about my sexuality. It might seem taboo but you're not alone.

MAYBELATERNOWIMBUSY Fri 03-Feb-12 23:42:20

about 10 minutes once i realised it was my sex life my feelings my life>never felt dirty /guilty,never bothered me>how long 2 tell people ? only told anyone 2 whom it was appropriate, MY SEX LIFE IS MINE AND MY PARTNER S> it s the BRITISH TITILLATION ILLNESS ,THE POINTING TALKING ABOUT OTHER S)IMAGINED SEX LIFE .> IT S THEIR PROBLEM !!! U ARE OK !!!! OH, ALMOST FORGOT<I AM BISEXUAL !

ReneeVivien Sat 04-Feb-12 00:07:08

It didn't take me long. A week maybe smile. But it was a very long time ago, and I don't really remember. Probably way easier for me because I came from a very liberal family, and I also knew that 'teenage girls often have crushes on other girls; they usually grow out of this phase'. So I thought it was a phase I would probably grow out of. 30 years later, still waiting...

I think the problem may be waiting for certainty. Gay men typically 'know' they are gay from a very young age, and can't imagine being anything else. IME lesbian and bisexual women are rather different, and often move in and out of different ways of expressing sexuality throughout their lives. dp and I have been together for nearly 20 years; both of us have had relationships with men; neither of us would rule out doing so again. So I call myself lesbian not out of any sense of conviction that this is all there could ever be, but simply because I have been almost exclusively in lesbian relationships for the last 30 years.

Does it matter, defining yourself as bi-curious or bisexual or lesbian? Is this about feeling that something is missing in your relationship, and wondering if you should be unfaithful, and that that can only be justified if you are 'really' a lesbian?

pollyblue Sat 04-Feb-12 00:18:17

I've had more relationships with women than men, although my longest relationship has been with a man and we have three children together. Generally I'm more attracted to women - though having said that it's more about the person for me, than the gender. In my mind I consider myself gay, I feel more affinity (if that's the right word) with that side of me, than any heterosexual side.

TBH I've never had any trouble with it because it's how I've felt for as long as I remember. But I come from a family that I think would've had trouble accepting me as a lesbian, so it's something I've never discussed with them. And I've never really felt the need to.

Please don't feel that you have to pigeon-hole yourself. OfTheHuge makes a good suggestion re the counselling.

connorandmaddiesmom Fri 02-Nov-12 13:55:03

I always knew that there was something a bit different about me but didn't want to admit it (NOT THAT BEING GAY MEANS YOUR DIFFERENT)I had two children with two men then i found my current partner and everthing felt right .

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