hi I'm 13...and have some type of anxiety disorder. every since my first panic attack, I sorta started worrying that I'm going to become bi or lesbian. it was just one thought...and then, spiral downwards. I can't stop worrying about it! It's like, the more I worry about it, the more I think these thoughts. I never seemed bi before..I always had crushes on guys. Then I started worrying about being lesbian...and boom. I can't be around my friends sometimes because I'm so worried that I'll have a lesbian thought about them. I really don't want to be bi, but by the sound of it, there isn't that much of a choice involved...and that's what scares me.

I'm seeing a counsler about my panic attacks and whatever anxiety disorder makes me worry like crazy (GAD maybe?) but I can't talk to anyone about this.

Honestly, I don't even think lesbian thought unless I previously started worrying about it. Sometimes I forget and then everythings back to normal, but that usually doesn't last long.

I need somebody to tell me that I'm not going to end up lesbian. I except other people who are, but I don't really want that to be me, and my life. If I think back a year ago, I had none of these worries and life was simple. I like boys and they liked me. Now I'm always worried that a girl likes me simply if they look at me or stuff like that. I don't know what to do!

Thanks in advance!
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replied September 8th, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
You're going to end up how you're going to end up. There's not much you can do about that besides make yourself miserable trying to change things that were decided in you when you were born. It's unlikely you're going to be a lesbian but it's entirely possible that you'll be bisexual to some extent. As many young women are bisexual as are not, and there's nothing wrong with it.

Do talk to someone about it, a trusted friend or a parent if you can't talk to your counselor about it. Keeping this inside will only make things worse for you. You're very confused about this and it will help you sort things out for yourself if you can discuss what you're feeling with someone.
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replied September 10th, 2009
You kind of remind me of me when I was your age (except that I'm a guy). I had that same sort of fear, and it was pretty damaging to me. Please hear me out; this fear could end up hurting you whether you are straight, bi, or lesbian.

I've always liked women. There was never and has never been any question of that. So, when I was younger I just assumed I was a straight guy and never thought twice about it.

However, when I was in middle school, and my freshman year of high school, I grew terrified that people would think I was gay. I viewed people I thought were gay with a fearful disgust.
Ironically, at the same time, I came from a very accepting family and community, and I supported LGBT rights. But whenever I would think about any gay men, in ANY context, I would always react with that same fear and hate and try to force the unwelcome thoughts out of my mind.

I would act "defensively masculine," trying to be so extremely, even stereotypically masculine, that no one would possibly ever think I was gay.

Sometimes I would have romantic fantasies about women, and midway through, some man would pop in. Again came the knee-jerk fear, and I'd try to force out the "outsider" in my fantasy. (In retrospect, it's pretty obvious that this was my attempt not to "keep men from interrupting my fantasies" but to stop myself from fantasizing about men.)

Eventually those surges of intense homophobia towards other people faded. I met people in high school who were bisexual (mostly women), and finally "grew up" with respect to others. I was totally an ally, 100%! Equality, woo-hoo! Totally validating other peoples' love!
And, of course, being sure to keep nagging myself on the inside, to remind myself that this was OTHER people's love I was supporting.
The fear was still there, and so was that underlying thought: this is NOT OKAY for me. I must be straight, period! And I was still sure to keep rigidly in line with what was acceptably masculine. I was still making sure that no one could think *I* was possibly gay. This was the mindset I still had as I entered college.

And then, I noticed the cute guy in my Psych class.

Or, to be more honest, "totally crushed on" the cute guy in my Psych class.

And I freaked out.

Next came a few months of total confusion. There was a lot of inner turmoil, stolen glances, attempts to talk to him that all failed, and the constant inner censor screaming, NO! YOU'RE STRAIGHT! I had never let myself do this before, let myself feel that way towards another man. My censors had slipped, and they came back with a vengeance.

I never did bring it up. Eventually, like all crushes on strangers, it faded. I got over him. The semester ended, and I haven't seen him since.

But the turmoil still went on. I still couldn't come to terms with the fact that I had been attracted to a guy. Rampant denial was the name of the game.

And I finally got around to thinking - what the hell was I so scared of?

And I drew a blank.

So, after years of angst and lying to myself and censoring myself and hating myself, I finally just accepted the truth: I am bisexual man.
What's so wrong with that?

I wish I could answer that, give some reason as to why it was so hard just to get to a point where I could say that. As you can probably guess, I ended up with a lot of self-hatred because of my internalized homophobia, fueling my depression a few years down the road. This reached a peak while I was still in denial after my crush, filled with angst and self-loathing.


It's all in pursuit of a lie: that I had to be straight, period. And there's nothing wrong with being bisexual!

My depression is still a lingering problem, mostly born of my fear and refusal to accept myself, but for the most part it doesn't affect my life any more. I have a wonderful girlfriend, and couldn't ask for a better relationship. Life goes on. There was nothing to be afraid of after all - it was only my fear, not my sexual orientation, that hurt me.

I would urge you to think about homophobia not just in terms of "it's okay for OTHER PEOPLE to be straight, or bi, or lesbian" but in terms of "it's okay for ME to be straight, or bi, or lesbian." I know that that's a lot easier said than done. Finding a LGBT-allied counselor, or even just a confidante, would be an excellent idea. Also, it might help to do some soul-searching and ask yourself: what am I REALLY afraid of?

And, just fyi - if you like men, you like men. It sounds like you're afraid that you'll somehow lose that and "become a lesbian." The short answer is no. You may or may not ALSO be romantically attracted to women. That doesn't mean you'll lose feelings for men in general. Doesn't work that way, period.
I hope that clears things up a bit, in case your fear is related to loss. If you're afraid you won't be able to get married or have kids or something, good news: nothing to be afraid of.

If you need to talk to someone, feel free to ask.
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