"It isn't unusual to feel attracted to someone you're close to or admire, like a close friend or a great teacher. But this doesn't always mean you're gay, a lesbian, or bisexual."
The American Psychological Association defines sexual orientation as an "enduring emotional, romantic, sexual, or affectional" attraction toward another person.
Am I gay?
This is a question that's often asked by young people, now there is much more openness and honesty about discussing male homosexuality and lesbianism. As you grow up it is normal to think sexually about both the same sex and the opposite sex. Some people know exactly who they are attracted to, but others may experiment with sexual experiences, including those with members of the same sex, during the years they are exploring their own sexuality.
Questions You May Be Asking Yourself to Detemine if You are Gay:
If you are feeling feeling confused, you're not alone.
It isn't unusual to feel attracted to someone you're close to or admire, like a close friend or a great teacher. But this doesn't always mean you're gay, a lesbian, or bisexual. Determining your sexual orientation can be a confusing experience, but only you can truly determine it, on your own terms. There's no real test for it yet, so the most reliable method is to look at your history and feelings, and make an educated guess.
Some Reasons Why You Might Be Questioning Your Sexual Orientation:
Some Quick Facts to Keep in Mind:
Fist you should be clear on your definition of gay, and understand that sexuality is considered by some to be a very complex issue.
When examining signs you may be gay, ask yourself these questions:
When it comes down to it, there is no reliable "Am I Gay test", so the only way to know that you are gay is to look within yourself to determine your own thoughts and feelings towards others of the same sex.
Some psychologists believe masturbation is a useful test for determining sexual orientation - gay people fantasise about their own gender when they masturbate whereas heterosexual people do not.
You might also want to consider the possibility that you are neither gay nor straight and are bisexual - or just curious. It can help to talk to other people who are going through the same thing. Find out if there's a young men's or women's group in your area for lesbian, gay or bisexual people.
The process of discovering sexuality differs for everyone.
The only person who can answer your question, "Am I gay," is you! And remember, sexuality is a fluid thing and can always change.
The original rainbow flag, called the Freedom Flag, was devised by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The design has undergone several revisions since its debut with 8 colored stripes, and today the most common variant consists of 6 stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
Picture of Gilbert Baker's original Freedom Flag showing the meaning of the 8 colors.