How do I know it’s not just a phase?

How do I know it's not just a phase?

If anyone has ever assumed that your gayness is just a phase, you’re not alone. We get messages from young women all the time asking us how they can prove to their friends and family that they don’t plan on switching their sexual preferences. Not now, not ever. But that’s a question for a different day. Today, we’re going to address how you can determine for yourself whether or not your attraction to women is permanent or temporary.

If you’re 100% sure that your gayness is here to stay, there’s probably no need to read this. But if even a small part of you thinks it might just be a short-lived chapter of rebellion, I’d urge you to stick around. After all, if you change your mind tomorrow, everyone will laugh at you for thinking you were a lesbian! “Remember that time you thought you were gay?” they’ll joke. “That was a crazy phase!”

I’m kidding, of course. No one is going to mock you for exploring your sexuality, and if they do, it might be time to cut them loose. That, or make them read this blog. Because the truth is, it’s totally normal to wonder about the permanence of your sexual identity. When I first started dating Faith, I’d just gotten out of a long-term relationship with a man. I asked myself, on multiple occasions, whether she was just a phase – a way for me to sow my wild oats in the most defiant way possible. As it turns out, she wasn’t. But perhaps if I hadn’t fallen madly in love with her, I’d be dating men again. It’s hard to say. What I do know is that sexuality is extremely fluid, and that means you can be gay one day and straight the next. It’s only a “phase” if that’s how you choose to label it. Because friends, I can’t stress this enough – your sexuality and its longevity on either side of the gender coin is completely up to you to decide.

That said, it’s important to be honest with yourself. Don’t choose to deem your gayness a phase simply because you’re in denial, because no matter how hard you fight it (and most of us do, at first), your sexual preferences are typically pretty deeply engrained. Regardless of whether you were born gay or developed these inclinations over time, your sexual and romantic desires stem from a whole host of factors that make you who you are. In other words, if you suspect you like girls even a little bit, you’ll probably always feel that way. And that’s something to celebrate, not deny!

Emily WatsonIdentityComment