New Feature: Need Advice? Ask a Lesbian!

hey my name is jessica* (name has been changed to preserve identity) im 21 and im from northern new jersey but currently go to school at a University as a pre-vet major. my parents moved to TN 2 years ago when i was going to college in PA so i just transferred and i dont know a lot of gay ppl. actually theres NO gay ppl that i have met here at all probably cause it is the south and alot of ppl dont like gay ppl but It was the total opposite in the north. I dont know anyone whose a good friend of mine or lives here thats gay that i could talk to but ive been wondering wether im bisexual or not lately and on the aim page i saw something about the gay community and decided to read up on it. for some reason i just clicked on your bio first just to see what it said i really didnt need to pick anyone in particular but i really liked your bio and i felt like i could talk to you if you had time. it wont hurt my feelings if you dont reply, ive never in my life emailed a random person and i know this is probably really weird.
I've played softball and field hockey all my life, theres also been lesbians on my team but i never ever felt feelings for anyone or its never gone through my mind that i would want to hook up with a girl so i never thought i was bisexual. I played fh in college in PA for 2 years and lived with 4 girls last year in a house and they are all really really beautiful, but i never wanted to hook up with one of them. I am attracted to guys, but sexually they honestly really turn me off i just like making out with them and teasing them. I mean ive had sex w/ 9 guys and just become bored and i really get into it just for there sake, but it just feels wrong to me every time and i force myself to enjoy it. Recently since i moved here about 3 months ago, since school started, i havent been playing sports or doing a million things and live by myself so i guess ive had time to kinda think about myself and realized that maybe i really do like girls. i havent had a boyfriend in 4 years, but i hook up with guys all the time and have been in a "together" relationships, but i can never find the right guy to be in a relationship with. i do think girls are beautiful and sexy and i actually wouldnt mind getting to know or hooking up with another girl just to experiment and see if this really is my problem on why i havent had a boyfriend in a long time and i always end things with every guy im with even if they are basically perfect. I have had some sexual dreams with random girls and they never seemed weird or uncomfortable.
NONE of my best girl friends or anyone in my family would ever expect this about me and i dont know if i should talk to anyone about it. I dont even know how to go about talking to a girl b/c i dont even know if they are gay or not and i dont want to try and pick up a girl in front of my friends because i dont want them to think badly of me (most of my friends here are very religious) so i was wondering how should i go about meeting someone and how did you know you were gay?

Dear Jessica,
I was pretty much in the same situation as you at right around the same age that you are now. When I went to college, I really began to question my sexuality and like you, I had always dated and hooked up with guys but never felt a strong connection to them. I always appreciated and enjoyed the friendships I had with other girls and really valued them. To me, they were like a relationship, minus the sexual intimacy but I always put a lot of time and energy into my friendships with girls.

I went to a college where I knew very few "out" lesbians. Like you, I played sports, Rugby in particular and knew a few gay women on the team but wasn't attracted to any of them in that way. As college progressed and around 21 years old, I started to think about my sexuality a lot more. I started to think that maybe I was "bi" because I had a feeling I was becoming increasingly attracted to women and less drawn to men. I never really talked about it with anyone because I didn't really know anyone that would understand. My friends weren't really religious, but sexuality and being gay wasn't something that people really discussed much.

The burden of religion on the GLBT community can be a daunting one, but you really can't let it get you down. It's also really difficult, when you are questioning your sexuality, to find a safe and healthy way to approach it. There is that desire to want to "experience" another women but it's a lot easier to say than to do, especially when you are in an environment where homosexuality isn't prevalent or out in the open like it is in many other areas of the country. I always wished I could have been pursued by a gay woman because I feel like it would have helped me pave the way to coming out of the closet sooner, but alas, I had to learn about my sexuality on my own. I used to have very intense sexual dreams with women, and actually, one of my most prominent dreams was a reoccuring sexual fantasy I had with Sandra Bullock. I still get made fun of about that one! Anyway, the most important thing is that most people tend to come out when they are ready, and so it's best not to rush things if you are still confused about your feelings.

I finally came out and fully knew I was gay when I was a senior in College. I was living in a large house with 7 other girls and had developed a crush on one of my roommates. We started hanging out more frequently and I felt very comfortable with her and started to talk about how I was questioning my sexuality. Coincidentally, she was questioning her own sexuality, and we eventually became intimate and realized we both really liked being with each other. Ultimately, we entered into a relationship and become each other's first girlfriends. We came out to our friends and family together and it was really great to have that added support of going through something like that for the first time with each other. We stayed together for 9 months, but ultimately we were not meant to be. Your first girlfriend tends to be a very intense and strong relationship but rarely do they ever last. Some will stay with their first for years, others for months. It was an amazing experience for me, but in the end we realized the only thing we really had in common was that we both realized we liked girls at the same time!

My best advice to you is to find a GLBT support group. Most colleges have some kind of on-campus gay and lesbian group where anyone and everyone is welcome and accepted. Even if you are still questioning, it is better to talk to other people, hear their stories and ask as many questions as you can. Also, the internet is a great resource as well for information - there are hundreds of blogs, chats, forums, message boards, etc where you can ask questions, talk to other lesbian and bi women and learn about the GLBT community. Join MySpace and be-friend other lesbian women. Go on Craiglist.org and reach out for a friend on the Women4Women message board. Join PlanetOut.com, Match.com or another gay-friendly site where you can connect with other women, even if it is just on a friendship level. You are still very young and still learning about yourself so it's completely normal to be unsure of what you want in a partner, both sexually and emotionally. The best thing you can do is just keep your options open and talk about it with people who you can trust and feel comfortable opening up to. Also, you might want to consider talking to a campus counselor; therapists are great because they are non-judgemental and will help you sort out confusing thoughts that might be going on in your head. I highly recommend talking to someone. Going to a therapist isn't definitely not something to be ashamed of either - you'll find out later in life that pretty much everyone you knows has a shrink for something. It's the people that try to deal with their problems alone that usually go crazy!

Anyway, I hope all this advice has helped - I'm certainly no expert but the only thing I can say is that you just need to be true to yourself, honest with others, and wear your heart on your sleeve. Don't be afraid to get hurt or take chances because in the end, they will only make you stronger and you never know when you might meet the woman (or man) or your dreams. Just get out there and be yourself, connect with people in person and online, don't limit yourself, be safe and just have a good time.

We welcome you to share your own stories, comments, advice and ideas on our Ask a Lesbian advice column!

Make a Lesbian Fashion Statement
Shop at the

Roses are red, violets are blue, please leave your comment, after your reading is thru.


thewishfulwriter said...

Excellent advice - how I wish I had been brave enough to come out in college.

So much wasted time...sigh. :)

dubbs said...

My advice is to start small. Find some lesbians via the internet (see? we're all over the web). Get some experience. And if you find your feelings for women are strong, start by talking to just ONE of your friends about it. Pick the most open-minded one. Remember, these are your friends, and despite religious beliefs, they ought to be supportive because they care about you. Then you can kinda piecework coming out. My parents were the last to know, and I am not at all "out" at my workplace, but I've learned to only talk about it with the appropriate people. But I agree that talking about it is essential. Best of luck to you, hun!

Anonymous said...

I just really want to thank whoever answered Jessica. You gave so much good advice & i'm sure it'll help me in the end. i'm currently someone going crazy because i keep all my problems to myself, all the time, and don't know i that'll ever change.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know about the world of lesbians. I have thought about becoming one but scared of what others think. If you could, would you email me on lesbian acts and living? I would love info on my possible future lifestyle. Hit me up at my email 3173323138@tmomail.net. Thank you. Ateekin