Queeries is an LGBTQ+ advice column catering to any individual across the gender and sexuality spectrum. Throughout this series, we will be answering questions or “inqueeries” that readers may have, and hopefully provide some closure and/or useful advice that can be used in everyday life. All questions are anonymous and will be answered to the very best of our abilities. Inqueeries can be sent to our Instagram’s DM @risenzine, Twitter DM: @risenzine, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tumblr page: risenmags.tumblr.com
One. “At what age did you know you were gay/bi/queer? I came out to my parents recently and they told me I’m too young to know that I’m attracted to girls (I am also a girl).”
I came out as bisexual a month before I turned fourteen, but the first time I had thought about liking girls was back when I was ten or eleven. It was just a brief thought that I squashed until it became relevant in my life again. When I began identifying as bisexual, I was told the same thing - that I was “too young”, “experimenting”, that it was “a phase” and that I should “wait until I was sixteen” to be sure. My message to you is: you’re NOT too young. Parents will joke about babies of the opposite sex making cute couples, yet will disregard their teenaged queer children - this is a symptom of heteronormativity, and not a reflection of your validity. You’re an entirely valid sapphic queen and we all love you!
I remember in 6th grade during recess, I had the epiphany that I might be attracted to girls. Up until I discovered Kristen Stewart I always thought I just liked boys because I was in denial from what I read online. I remember reading coming-out-stories, about the kids that had known “from birth.” I thought I couldn’t like girls, because up until that point I thought it had to be one or the other - that I had to have known I was queer since childbirth. In 8th grade, after months flitting back and forth and trying to compose my thoughts, I came out to my best friend at the time and I haven’t looked back since. You’re valid, your attraction is valid. The heart wants what the heart wants and this is not any different to if you knew you were heterosexual.
It’s hard to say the exact age I knew I was bi. I think I always suspected that I may like girls as well as boys, but I didn’t realize that were an option until I was thirteen or fourteen. I remember having a fake “girlfriend” with one of my friends and enjoying the holding hands a bit too much for it to be solely platonic. I think that I came to terms with my sexuality when I was fourteen, and I now am slowly coming out to the people I love and trust. It just happens to turn out that my “girlfriend” is also bi! There will never be a defined age where you are old enough to know your sexuality. It’s always changing and the most important thing when coming out is trusting yourself. If you feel ready, then you are “old enough” to come out. You got this!
I’ve always know I was attracted to girls from a young age; I would say 7 or 8. A friend and I were playing the typical ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ game, and a particular scene required us to kiss. I knew prior to this that I was affectionate towards girls, but I wanted to actually see whether it was true or not, so of course I leaned in for the kiss, something clicked and it all came clear to me that I was definitely attracted towards girls. I had heard people say words like ‘lesbian’ and ‘gay’, I didn’t know what they meant exactly, but I always felt like I was connected to the word in some way. You are never too young or too old to feel the way you do, your sexuality is valid at all stages of life regardless of whether it fluctuates or changes in any way.
I had an inkling I was queer back in 2015 when I started to get a better insight into the lgbtq+ community and who they represented. It wasn’t until the start of 2016, when my attraction for girls grew, that I started to identify as bisexual. I think a part of it definitely had to do with my age and maturity, but also the environment I was brought up in and the culture of support displayed by those around me. In retrospect, I think the exact moment I knew I was bi was when I thought, “hey, I could see myself spending the rest of my life with her.” Like everyone else, I don’t think you have to be a certain age to be sure of your sexuality. Then again, sexuality is fluid and you can choose to change who you identify as later on (or opt not label yourself at all!).