Who we like, what we find attractive, or what turns us on is very personal and part of what makes us unique! Attraction can be emotional, physical and/or visual.
Sexuality is complicated, and can be confusing! A person’s sexuality can even change over time. At Teen Clinic, we encourage youth to define their sexuality however they like. If putting a label on who you’re attracted to is something you want to do, you can do that using common terms (there are many!), or you can even make one up! Just know that there is no right or wrong way to identify – even if that means that you choose not to put a label on it!
If you’re feeling confused about your sexuality, consider asking yourself: Who am I attracted to? Who am I sexually active with? How might I identify (or choose not to identify) myself?
For some people, the answers to these questions will all point in the same direction. A person may be attracted to the opposite sex, be sexually active with the opposite sex, and identify as straight. For others, however, the answer may be more complicated. A person may be attracted to multiple sexes, but sexually active with one only sex. Whether this person identifies as gay, straight, bisexual, queer, or as something else is totally up to them.
Think about whether a sexual label will be helpful to you. Because sexuality can fluctuate throughout life, your feelings may fit a label clearly one year and not the next. On the other hand, identifying as bi (or Questioning) can help connect you to friends, communities and resources who will help you explore your feelings in a positive, healthy way. Consider checking out local groups like OASOS and Out Boulder, where you can meet others in your shoes and learn more about sexuality in general.
Whatever you do, don’t let yourself feel isolated! There are lots of other youth asking the same questions you are, and lots of adults who want to support you.