February 2, 2024

How Did You Realize You Were Gay?

One of the first questions that a new student might ask is, “How did you realize you were gay?” The answer will vary depending on the age and developmental level of the individual, but it’s important to try to respond in a way that’s affirming.

Many people start to understand that they are attracted to other people of the same sex in their early teens, but this doesn’t always mean they will identify as gay. Some people may be bisexual or pansexual, while others might have a varying sexual orientation, for example they might enjoy some kinds of physical contact more than others.

The word “gay” has a long history and was used in the past to refer to someone who was carefree without any implication of homosexuality. Well into the mid 20th century, for example, it was common to describe a middle-aged bachelor as being gay, but this use no longer carries any negative connotations.

It’s important to remember that just because someone is attracted to people of the same sex doesn’t necessarily mean they are gay. Gay is an identity, while heterosexuality is a gender assigned at birth. Whether or not someone feels the same-sex attraction that other people have can be affected by hormone levels, their environment and the experience of discrimination and prejudice.


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