Questioning Your Sexuality and Embracing the Real You

As a teenager, you may be questioning who you are and who it is you want to become. From body changes, to mood swings, it’s easy to struggle with identity and process what you’re feeling. If all of this sounds familiar, know that you’re not alone.

Understanding the Different Types of Sexual Orientation

Relationships tend to come and go during adolescence, and romantic partners often begin to enter the picture. The excitement of flirting and meeting new people can be a great time, but it can also be quite stressful—particularly if you aren’t quite sure yet who you’re attracted to.

There are several possible avenues for sexual orientation, but the most common classifications are as follows.

  • Heterosexual: Otherwise known as ‘straight,’ heterosexual describes males attracted to females and females attracted to males.
  • Homosexual: Otherwise known as ‘gay,’ homosexual individuals are attracted to members of the same sex.
  • Bisexual: To be attracted to both sexes.
  • Pansexual: To be attracted to people of all sexes and genders.

No matter which orientation you identify with, your sexuality does not define you as a person. However, it’s still a large part of you and can help you to begin embracing who you are with confidence.

What To Do if You’re Questioning Your Sexuality

There is no age in which a person is supposed to “know” their sexuality. It can be ingrained in you at a birth, discovered as a teen, or much later in life. Remember that everyone’s experience in life is different. If you’re experiencing feelings of attraction to the same sex, embrace those feelings for what they are. Although it may feel as if you’re in the minority, coming out is slowly but surely becoming the new normal. A number of celebrities are showing the world how great it can be to be confident in your own skin and own your sexuality. Additionally, the rise of gay main characters in films and advertisements continues to increase.

Without the platform of a being a celebrity, coming out as a regular teen may still seem daunting. Remember that the timing is up to you. If you’re still unsure of your orientation, be open to relationships with those you’re attracted to and over time it will become clearer. When you’re ready to tell the world who you are, start by deciding who you’re the most comfortable telling first. Perhaps it’s a drawn out process and begins with your best friend. Again, the timing should be what feels right to you. There is no rush. When all is said and done, no matter the reaction, you can rest assured knowing that you’re open to the world as the real you and can begin living your life with a new sense of confidence and fulfillment.

If you’re questioning your sexuality or thinking about coming out to friends and family, your CCP pediatrician can serve as an ally in helping you come up with a game plan to embrace who you are and work through any feelings you may be experiencing.