Women usually describe themselves as lesbian when they find that they are physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to other women. However, it is important to remember that just because a woman experiences an attraction to women, she doesn’t have to call herself as lesbian. It is your choice how you identify your sexuality.
Why are some women lesbians? Researchers believe that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of our biology (genes and hormones)and our environment. This is true whether you are lesbian or straight.
How do I know if I’m a lesbian? There is no easy answer to this question. You can’t fill in a questionnaire or take a test to give you a definite answer. What is important is that you explore your feelings and attractions at a pace that makes you feel safe and comfortable. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to deal with your questions or problems by yourself. You might have friends or family members who have had similar experience and can talk with you about your feelings. If you’d rather speak to people who aren’t directly involved in your life, you can also find a support group in your area though the Human Rights Campaign or the Gay-Straight Alliance. If someone reacts negatively and doesn’t seem like they will be supportive, look for someone else to talk with.
How do I know if someone else is a lesbian? Basically, you won’t know if someone’s a lesbian until she tells you.
Lesbian relationships. In most respects, same-sex relationships (two women together or two men together) are not different from straight relationships. Like everyone else, lesbian women date, break up, explore feelings, fall in love and form committed relationships. Regardless of your sexuality,it’s important to be open and honest with your partner about your feelings and attraction to other people. Beyond that, there are no predetermined rules to follow in any relationship.
You can learn more about LGBTQ and Two Spirit health HERE.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.
Special Thanks: Tommy Chesboro, Tony Aaron Fuller, Hannabah Blue