How Do You Know If You’re A Lesbian?

Photo by Marie S on Unsplash

It’s important to remember, that regardless of how you feel about your sexuality, you should never feel like you are required to assign a label to it. While the term ‘lesbian’ may be fitting for some people, it may not be comfortable for others.

I generally use the term ‘queer’ or ‘gay’ for myself, because it feels a little more broad and open to me, which I like. I say this as a woman who has only ever been in love with other women, and is also married to a woman. So, remember, there are no rules. Only you can decide how you identify.

Discovering your sexuality is a different experience for everyone. For some people it comes very early in life, so early in fact that you can’t even assign a name to how you feel, because you haven’t learnt the terminology yet. For some, like me, it comes a little later in life.

I feel like my journey was probably one that began when I was around ten years old, but only reached that undeniable point of no return at the age of twenty-three. When looking back retrospectively, there were definitely some signs that I was attracted to women. These may not be your signs, but maybe you and I share some in common.

When I was quite young, there were a few girls that I just had an inexplicable desire to be around. I didn’t really know these girls, they weren’t in my group of friends. It would often be that I’d see them a handful of times a year at my soccer games, when my team would play against theirs, or when their game happened to be on the pitch next to mine. I would get so excited just to say hi to them. Now I realise those were little crushes.

2. Lesbian TV Characters

I would watch TV shows I had very little, to no interest in, just to see the development of that one lesbian character or relationship. Perhaps this was me exploring the idea of what my life could be like.

3. You Admit It Out Loud

When I was seventeen, and very drunk, I told one of my friends that I had a huge crush on one of our mutual female friends, and that I thought I might be in love with her. She was great about it, but we never spoke about it again, and I didn’t mention any of my crushes for another six years.

4. Queer Friends

I was making a lot of queer female friends in my early twenties. I can see now that I was putting myself in a safe space to start exploring that side of me; although I always maintained, and mostly believed, I was straight. Of course my queer friends were not buying it.

5. Imagining Your Future

When I pictured my future, it never really featured a male partner. I always saw some unknown woman in all of my future visions. This would also be the case in my dreams, I would make out with a lot of women in my dreams. It was pretty great.

6. Sex

When having sex with male partners, I would often imagine they were women. Sex with men was never uncomfortable for me, but it was like a means to an end, I just wasn’t present with them the way I am with women.

7. You’re Nervous Around Her

I was always so much more nervous around girls than boys. I got butterflies in my stomach when they looked at me in a certain way, or touched me even in a friendly way. It was always a different feeling than with the boys, and one that I certainly enjoyed more.

8. Crushes On Your Female Teachers

I only ever had crushes on my female teachers. At the time I didn’t realise what those feelings were, but looking back, it’s easy to see that they were definitely crushes. Why did I really, really, look forward to math class when I absolutely hated math? Oh yeah, that’s why…

9. Falling In Love

When I fell in love with a woman for the first time, and I mean, really undeniably fell in love, it was then that I knew it wasn’t just a physical attraction to women, but something much much deeper. This was my point of no return, and when I finally acknowledged my sexuality to myself, and to others.

To conclude; I think sexuality is complicated, fluid, and means something different to everyone. I hope you can try to be aware of your feelings, act on them if you have the desire to, and of course if it’s safe to do so. Live your best, most honest, and fullest life.

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Amelia Harlow

Queer woman and author of lesbian romance/erotica, among other things.