How Do You Know If You’re a Lesbian?

mirrored double portrait of a person with long braids and colorful eyeshadow share on PinterestPER Images/Stocksy United On TikTok, it ’ south Le $ bean. In “ The L Word, ” it ’ s lez. And for most everyone else, it ’ south lesbian. Whether you letter-swap, abridge, or not, this guide is for anyone who ’ s ever asked themselves, “ Am I a lesbian ? ”.

Lez go ! ( Had to. )

First things first: What’s the exact definition?

Like other sexual identity categories, the definition varies slenderly based on who ’ sulfur doing the define. “ The most accurate definition to lesbian history is that a lesbian is a non-man who loves, dates, or f*cks other non-men, ” says Jordan Underwood, a nonbinary lesbian, fat activist, model, and content creator. The above definition is more explicitly gender-inclusive than the definition frequently given for lesbian. The definition Vanderbilt University ’ s LGBTQ+ resource center gives, for model, reads : “ normally refers to a woman who has a amatory and/or sexual orientation toward women. Some nonbinary people besides identify with this term. ” And GLAAD defines it as a woman whose enduring physical, quixotic, and/or emotional attraction is to other women.

Wait, so lesbians don’t have to be cisgender? 

N-O-P-E ! “ There ’ randomness frequently a misconstrue that comes from TERF ( trans-exclusionary free radical feminist ) rhetoric that all lesbians are AFAB ( assigned female at birth ) and that lesbianism is centered around vaginas, ” Underwood says. But these two things are FALSE .

first, anyone who isn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate a man ( regardless of their assigned sex at parturition ) can be a lesbian. second, centering lesbianism around vagina is trans exclusionary .

“ It excludes and invalidates trans femme and trans women lesbians, and it besides implies that trans men are lesbians if they ’ ra attracted to women and other non-men, ” Underwood explains. “ Trans and nonbinary lesbians have existed throughout history, including Storme DeLarverie ( he/him pronoun ) and Leslie Feinberg ( ze/hir pronoun ), ” Underwood adds.

Am I lesbian if I had a spicy sex dream with someone of a similar gender? 

Your dreamscape alone international relations and security network ’ metric ton reason adequate to doubt your sex or to begin identifying as a lesbian. “ Having sexual activity with person in a dream international relations and security network ’ t the lapp as being a lesbian, ” says Katrina Knizek, a lesbian and sex therapist who specializes in helping people explore their sex. There are many early reasons you might have a “ lesbian arouse dream ” that have nothing to do your intimate orientation, she says. To name a few :

  • You watched “The L Word,” “Below Her Mouth,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” or any other movie or TV episode that featured a lesbian relationship or non-man on non-man kiss or sex scene.
  • You watched “lesbian porn” at some point recently.
  • You talked to your lesbian or queer BFF about a recent sexcapade recently.
  • You recently read about, spent time with, or thought about a non-man who you admire.
  • You fantasized about having lesbian sex (even if you don’t actually want to have lesbian sex IRL).

“ If you feel peculiarly caught off guard by your sex dream, it might function as fuel that encourages you to explore your sex in other ways, ” she says. But if the merely rationality you ’ re Googling “ am i lesbian ? ” is because you had a sex dream… no, you ’ re not a lesbian .

Is there a quiz that I can take?

If lone a Buzzfeed quiz held all the answers ! *Sighs dramatically* But no, there international relations and security network ’ t a quiz or test you can take that will tell you your sex. And it isn ’ metric ton because there hasn ’ thyroxine been person to make the quiz — it ’ sulfur because a quiz wouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate exercise. As Knizek explains, “ You don ’ t have to check off a certain box associated with a particular identity in decree to be whatever that identity is. ”

Then how am I supposed to know if I’m a lesbian?

“ Finding out that you might be a lesbian can feel different for everyone, ” Underwood says. Some people fair know ! Others need to do a small self-reflection inaugural. If you ’ rhenium reading this article, odds are you ’ ra in the latter camp. Marla Renee Stewart, MA, a lesbian, queer sexual activity educator, and sexpert for adult health brand and retailer Lovers, recommends spending some time asking yourself :

  • Does the term ‘lesbian’ feel empowering, promising, home-y, exciting, or secure?
  • Does identifying as lesbian give me access to the community or support I’m craving?
  • Can I identify a pattern of being romantically, emotionally, or sexually attracted to non-men?

“ No count what the thing is that makes you think that you might be a lesbian, know that you ’ ra loved, and cherished, and there ’ s a community of people out here who want to see you grow and thrive into whatever identity affirms you and makes you feel seen, ” Underwood says.

What does being lesbian ‘look’ like?

“ There is no one way a lesbian look, ” Knizek says. “ There are as many ways to dress and look as a lesbian as there are with any other sex. ”

Gender presentation — how you snip, how you walk, how you talk, and so on — international relations and security network ’ t what makes person a lesbian, Underwood notes. Self-identification is .

Do I have to be butch or femme? 

If you ’ re on lesbian TikTok or have been reading up on lesbian history, you may have learn of lesbians identifying as butch, femme, or futch — or by terms that are single to Black lesbians, like stud and stemme. These terms are known as ‘ lesbian genders ’ and work to name a few gender expressions within lesbianism. And often, these terms come with a rich history. however, you don ’ t need to identify as butch, femme, or by any other lesbian gender. You can, if you choose, identify simply as lesbian. lesbian, after all, is an identity label regarding the people we love, date, or f*ck, not inevitably about gender presentation, Underwood says .

“ What ’ s most important is that you ’ ra expressing yourself, your gender, and your sex in the ways that make you feel affirmed, ” Underwood says .

“ You don ’ t have to commit to butchdom for your entire life or chop your haircloth off or use different pronouns, ” they say. Nor do you have to go all-out on high heels and lipstick to embrace a high-femme identity, if that doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate feel authentic. Your go : Try on a variety of labels, presentations, and pronouns until you find something that feels right.

Is there anything that ‘causes’ your orientation?

In a human sex or psychology class, this is an interest wonder to philosophize. however, outside those specific context, this question is, at best, diss and, at worst, homophobic. It insinuates that everyone is supposed to be straight, and that, if person identifies differently, something went wrong and caused it. *Eye roll* A better question than “ What causes person to be lesbian ? ” is “ What can I do to best confirm the LGBTQ+ community ? ”

Do I have to tell people?

not unless you want to and feel safe adequate doing therefore. “ You come out to yourself first, ” Stewart says. “ When and who you come out to is a personal decision. ”

What implications can come from not sharing?

Sharing that you ’ re a lesbian may help you find and connect with other lesbian folks. This is a major plus, considering that community is essential for build resilience and supporting your mental health, according to Rae McDaniel, a Chicago-based license clinical advocate and sex and sex therapist. When touch with support, sharing that you ’ rhenium lesbian can besides help you feel more amply yourself — and loved as your full self. unfortunately, not everyone is supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. Coming out to an insecure person could put you at risk for homelessness, joblessness, harassment, or violence. Avoiding these violences is a solid rationality to wait to come out. But not coming out besides comes with its risks. McDaniel explains that both the reverence of being ‘ outed ’ and the feel like you can ’ thyroxine be yourself are damaging to a person ’ s sense of self and mental wellbeing long condition.

How can I go about telling someone?

“ How you come out to person will depend on your relationship to them, vitamin a well as your reliance on them, ” Knizek says. But, regardless, it can be ampere straight-forward as saying something like the following :

  • “Before we hang up, I just wanted to let you know that I now identify as lesbian.”
  • “I was nervous to bring this up when we were last in person, so I’m texting. But I’m very excited to now be identifying as lesbian.”
  • “I’m lesbian.”
  • “Actually, no boyfriend for me! I’m lesbian.”

What should I do if it doesn’t go well?

sometimes people don ’ thyroxine respond the manner they ( supportively ) should. If they laugh, use your date or sexual past to tell you otherwise, or neglect you, give the situation distance. And remember : You ’ re loved, you ’ re valid, and you deserve to be treated with respect. If they get verbally or physically violent and you no longer feel safe, reach out to a supporter or family who ’ s gay or already knows you ’ re lesbian. Or contact your local LGBT center to find a shelter you can stay at for a while.

The bottom line

Spending some time exploring your sex can give you more insights into who you are and what you desire in life. You may conclude that lesbian is, in fact, a label that fits you. In which case : Mazel tov ! Or you may not. In which case : Congratulations on learning more about yourself !

Gabrielle Kassel is a New York-based sex and health writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She ’ sulfur become a good morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and corrode, drunkard, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free meter, she can be found reading self-help books and romanticism novels, bench-pressing, or pole dance. Follow her on Instagram .

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Category : Sex Tips

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