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I was once involved in a class discussion where someone asked this to a lesbian and she responded with, "When I was born." I looked at her and said, "You weren't even a sexually aware being yet. How could you know that?" And
I was once involved in a class discussion where someone asked this to a lesbian and she responded with, "When I was born." I looked at her and said, "You weren't even a sexually aware being yet. How could you know that?" And people got offended. I wasn't saying that people aren't born gay and it's a choice (I DON'T believe that at all), but I got frustrated with the reaction. I didn't know I was straight before I knew what it meant to be gay or straight, or anything else. Why would I?
Sorry, kind of off topic. It just...bugs me when people are so ready to be offended at any slight disagreement about this issue, as though human sexuality is so simple.
How did you realize it? Was there a particular situation that made it more obvious to you, or was it more gradual? Was it something that seemed to happen around puberty (age 12, or so), or did you have some sort of indication of it earlier?
Just like lots of straight people, lots of gay people have crushes before puberty. I didn't really have sexual feelings until I was eleven, but I had romantic feelings for girls even earlier than that. As early as I can remember (age 5 or 6), I wanted to hug and kiss my female friends. I was protective over them, and got jealous when they had crushes on boys. In third grade, there was one particular girl who I fell head over heels with. I didn't even know her name, but I'd always look for her at recess, and write in my diary about how I wanted to "be her friend" because she was so pretty. At that point, I didn't know that a girl could have a girlfriend, but that didn't stop me from wanting one and using different terms to describe it.
When she said she knew when she was born, she probably meant that (like me) she had romantic feelings for girls for as long as she could remember. I didn't know what a lesbian was until I was a preteen, but I still had crushes on my friends. It took me a while to understand those feelings, but that doesn't mean they didn't exist or that I didn't realize I had them.
It didn't occur to me that having crushes on girls meant that I was bisexual or lesbian until I was about eleven. I wanted to make out with my best friend, and I realized that other people didn't have those kinds of feelings. So, I privately thought of myself as bisexual, stayed in the closet until high school, and later admitted to myself (and to others) that I'm a lesbian.
At first, I came out as bisexual. I was extremely in denial. I tried to date boys, but it didn't work at all. I wanted them as friends, not as boyfriends. When I had my first kiss with another girl, it felt so natural and right, nothing like the forced fumblings that I attempted with guys. Still, I couldn't admit to myself that I was gay until about a year later, after kissing a female friend at a New Year's Eve party and realizing that even though I didn't have serious feelings for her, that one kiss was better than anything I'd done with my boyfriend of six months. After that, I waited a while, but eventually I came out as a lesbian. Now, I've fallen in love and I'm happier than I've ever been.