Often, the coming out journey begins long before you’ve said a word to anyone. The realization that your sexual orientation may be different from others’ may trigger internal reflection that can last days, months or years before you’re comfortable talking about it. Some people have known their entire lives that they are attracted only to men. Some have always known that they are attracted only to women. Some have always known that they are attracted to both men and women. And for others, it’s never been that simple. Attractions may vary and develop over time. If you don’t necessarily feel you fall under the categories of gay or straight, it’s often difficult to figure out what to call your sexual feelings.
You may wonder if you are sufficiently attracted to both sexes to be considered bisexual. Although some bisexual people do describe themselves as “50-50” — equally attracted to both genders — that’s not the case for everyone. Bisexual people may not always be equally attracted to both sexes, and the degree of attraction may vary over time and as one’s sexual identity develops. No “test” exists to determine what amount of attraction to each gender is necessary to identify as bisexual.
Some people work through a period of being attracted to both sexes and ultimately wind up being attracted primarily to one sex. And some people acknowledge their bisexuality after a period of identifying as lesbian, gay or straight. The journey is different for everyone. But figuring out your sexual identity can be complicated. It could take several months or several years. You may find it to be a lifelong process.
Whatever your experience, it can help to talk to someone else about it. It’s normal to have trouble putting your thoughts into words, but you may find that a trusted friend or relative will listen to you anyway. You might also consider looking into local bisexual organizations in your community where you can find support from others who have gone through the same experiences.