I think I might be Bisexual!

First of all, don’t panic.

For many young men and women who feel they might be bisexual, it can seem like the end of the world. Well, good news…it’s not. You can live a happy, fulfilled life.

What does it mean to be bisexual?

Bisexuals are men and women who are sexually attracted to both men and women. So, if you’re a girl, it means you are attracted to some boys and some girls. If you’re a boy, it mean’s you are attracted to some girls and some boys. It doesn’t mean you are attracted to everyone. You are attracted to the person who just "feels right" for you.

The important thing, you are not alone. Bisexuals are in every walk of life. There have been many famous bisexuals throughout history. Today, we are professional athletes, scientists, artists, lawyers, teacher, doctors, movie stars, mechanics, fast food workers, store clerks, judges, and engineers. We are Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, rich, poor, and well…you get the picture. We are everywhere you look.

A famous study called the Kinsey Report was done in 1948. It found that approximately 10% of the adult male population was homosexual. A more recent study estimates that LGBT people comprise about 3.8% of the U.S. population.


How do I know if I’m bisexual?

During adolescence, most young people begin to be aware of sexual feelings and take an interest in dating. But, different people understand their romantic or sexual feelings at different ages. Because of this, you may confuse particularly strong friendships with dating relationships. However, most of us begin to understand the difference once our feelings become sexual in nature.

Your confusion may not be helped by other people’s opinions. Adults may tell you that you’re too young to call yourself bisexual, or that you’re going through a phase, or you don’t know what you’re talking about. Other gay people may tell you this is just a phase you pass through on the way to being gay or lesbian. Our sexuality develops over time. Don’t worry if you’re not sure. Never feel pressured to stick a label on yourself. When the time is right for you, you’ll know.


Am I normal?

Yes, you are normal. Despite what you may have heard, it is perfectly natural for some people to be attracted to members of both sexes. Because of prejudice, many people push away these feelings.

It’s normal and healthy to be yourself, whether you’re gay or straight. What’s really important is that we learn to like ourselves.


What’s it like to be young and bisexual?

There is no ‘right’ way or ‘wrong’ way to be bisexual. Because of society’s stereotypes of bisexuals, you might think you have to behave a certain way. Forget that! Be yourself.

Because of homophobia and prejudice, some people don’t accept bisexuals. You may suffer from discrimination and violence. People tend to hate or fear what they don’t understand, and many people don’t understand being bisexual. Some people are just uncomfortable being around bisexuals. That’s why there are many LGBT organizations that work for our civil rights.


Who should I tell?

Coming out is the process of accepting yourself as bisexual and figuring out how open you want to be about your sexual orientation with other people.

While it can be important for other people to know about us, it is more important that we use good judgment about telling. Some friends may tell other people without your permission. Family members can be the most difficult people to tell. Even though some families are very supportive, some bisexual youth have been kicked out of their homes when their parents found out. Only you can decide whether or not to tell your family and choose the right time.

Maybe there’s a guidance counselor or social worker at your school, or in a local youth or counseling agency that you can trust. It’s important to have someone to talk to because it’s not healthy for young people to have to keep secret such an important part of their lives.


What about AIDS?

All of us should know about HIV, the virus that causes AIDS – how it’s transmitted and how we can prevent ourselves from becoming infected. You and your partner should discuss your risk factors for HIV infection and decide what, if any, safer sex methods you should use.

People at risk are those who:

  • Share needles if using IV drugs
  • Have vaginal intercourse with men without using condoms
  • Have anal sex with men without using condoms
  • Have oral sex with an infected woman without the use of a barrier to protect against infected vaginal secretions or menstrual blood

To help reduce the risk of contracting HIV:

  • Consider abstinence
  • Do not share needles
  • Choose sexual activities that do not involve intercourse. Maybe try hugging, kissing, talking, massaging or masturbation on unbroken skin.
  • Avoid anal or vaginal intercourse (placing the penis inside someone’s rectum or vagina). If you do engage in intercourse, use a new LATEX condom every time. Condoms made of natural materials (lamb skin, etc.) break down and allow the virus through.
  • Use surgical gloves for manual (vagina and fingers) sex, especially if you have cuts or a rash on your hands.
  • Use a new latex condom every time you engage in oral sex.
  • Use a dental dam for oral/vaginal or oral/anal sex.
  • Use LATEX condoms with ‘reservoir tips.’ Be sure to squeeze the air out from the tip as you put it on. Keep it on throughout the entire sex act. Hold onto the condom as you remove the penis; it can slip off after sex.
  • If you use lubricants, make sure they are water based. Petroleum-based lubricants, like Vaseline, weaken all condoms.

Sex is a serious topic. It’s one to consider with maturity and armed with knowledge.


How can I meet other LGBT youth?

Most big cities, even some smaller ones, have programs like Hatch Youth. Google "LGBT youth" or "GLBT youth" and the name of your city and see what pops up.

Maybe your high school or college campus has a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) or support group. You might have to ask a teacher or student you really trust to get more information on this. If there isn't one, consider starting one! GLSEN has lots of GSA resources on their website.

Look for a LGBT newspaper or magazine in your area to see what youth organizations and events you can attend. You'll most likely find these in coffee shops, bookstores, restaurants and other businesses in or near the "gay part of town," though every city has a predominantly LGBT neighborhood.

Be careful when trying to connect online. Not everyone is who they say they are. If you decide to meet up with someone you met online, meet in a public place where there are plenty of other people. NEVER agree to meet someone at their home or in an unfamiliar place. If you are minor (under 18), NEVER trust an adult stranger who chats with you privately or wants to meet you. What they are doing may be illegal, and it is dangerous to you!



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