Dear Love FAQ,
I'm a teenage guy in high-school, and I've thought for years that I was straight. But recently I have started liking a guy. I'm not sure how to interpret this, seeing as up til now I've only been attracted to girls, and I only really started liking the guy when I figured out he was probably gay.
I can't just ask the guy out for a few reasons: I'm not the best guy at socialising, I'm scared as hell of rejection, and I'm still not entirely sure about my feelings. Having Christian parents doesn't exactly help to inspire confidence much, either.
I've thought about this for days now and I'm yet to work out my actual position. It could be that my mind has decided that I like the guy just because he's gay, or it could be that I actually like the guy. I feel like I really need to anonymously contact someone for advice. What should I do?
Can't Think Straight
Dear Can't Think Straight,
First off, there's nothing wrong with you. Not that you said there was, but it bears repeating, because "sexuality is a spectrum," is one of those axioms we often hear but rarely internalize. Society still treats attraction as a binary switch: You are either "Straight" or "Gay", and never in between. Fifty years after Kinsey, we still act as if bisexuals or pansexuals are like Santa Claus-fairy tales we should dispel at every opportunity, lest innocent children grow up thinking them true. (Don't even get me started on the raw deal asexuals get.)
Maybe you like girls, and maybe you like guys, and either way or both ways, it's okay. Don't let anyone-not your friends, not your parents, not your church-tell you otherwise.
As to why this particular guy opened your eyes, who knows? Maybe you're just curious. Maybe you're extra picky about your man meat. Or maybe you've had these feelings for a long time, but never acknowledged or recognized them, simply because you'd never met someone who had the potential to reciprocate them.
Not that he does reciprocate them, mind you. Just because he's gay doesn't mean he's interested in you, specifically. At the same time, it doesn't mean he's not. You won't know for sure until you decide pursue it further.
This is a scary situation to be in, I understand, and it won't stop being scary. Our culture still doesn't gracefully allow kids to ask questions like the ones you're asking yourself now. But think of it this way: agonizing over what or how you feel right now won't help. Just accept that what you feel is what you feel, even if it all remains just one big confusing jumble for awhile. And keep in mind that sometimes it's only when you act on your feelings, one way or another, that you know for sure exactly what they are.
For what it's worth, I'm sorry that the world's going to suck for awhile, and that some quarters of it will never truly be receptive or understanding of where you're coming from. But as so many have said before me, it does get better. High school sucks for everyone-gay, straight, bi, alien from Mars. So just hold on. Wait it out. You'll see.
In the meantime, you may find these resources helpful:
Disclaimer: LoveFAQ is written by Lara Crigger, who is by no means a trained psychiatrist or therapist or even a middle school guidance counselor - just a smart gal who wants to help out her fellow geek. LoveFAQ is meant for entertainment purposes only, so don't take it as a substitute for professional advice. If you have real problems, consult your physician.
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