Dear Straight Talk: I’m 13 and very confused about my sexual orientation. I don’t know if I’m straight or bisexual. When I see a cute guy, I daydream about him constantly. When I see a pretty girl, I’m only like, she’s pretty. But I think I might have a crush on this one girl and am very confused about my feelings. She is outstandingly pretty but I don’t daydream about her. Yet, as I’m starting to want to know her, I’m finding it gross. I’m crying. Should I get to know her? I’m so confused. I really like men. I’m a girl. Please help.—Tess
Taylor, 16: Based on what you’ve written it seems you are attracted to men. Being nervous over a pretty girl doesn’t mean you are gay.
Sarah, 15: My friends and I call this a “girl crush.” You think she’s beautiful and find yourself “attracted” to her appearance. It’s totally natural and normal to have girl crushes, even if you’re straight. Please stop over-analyzing this. If you want to get to know her, go for it.
Frankie, 24: Please wait until later in life to sort out these feelings. It’s emotionally traumatic to explore them so young. I remember in high school having feelings for my best friend. Because I waited to sort them out, I was able to make the rational choice to keep them to myself. One, I really respect my female friendships. As I’ve gotten older, these friendships have become almost sacred, and I don’t want romantic feelings interfering. Two, my best friend trusted me. Divulging my feelings for her in high school would have destabilized her — not to mention possibly destroying what I held so dear — our friendship.
Go ahead and get to know the girl. “Girl crushes” are normal. But don’t act sexually on the attraction or even try to figure it out. You are too young. If feelings for girls are still present in your twenties, and you are no longer afraid or ashamed of the feelings, figure it out then.
Dear Tess: The pressure to label one’s feelings as “bisexual” is increasing in middle and high school and many straight girls are in agony over what used to be considered just normal attraction to other females. As Sarah says, don’t over-analyze this. The angst, depression, substance abuse, or other at-risk behaviors that come from worrying about it aren’t worth it.
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