Dear Alice,

How can I tell whether or not I am homosexual? I like to date people of the opposite sex, sometimes... but almost all my fantasies are about people of my same gender.


Dear Confused,

People don't always fall into a strict category of heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, but often fall somewhere in-between. Some people define their sexual orientation solely by the gender with whom they are sexually active. Others may also take into account who they feel attracted to, or who they choose to fantasize about. Sexuality surveys tend to ask people questions about their sexual behavior, their sexual desire, and their self-identification (i.e., as gay or lesbian, heterosexual, bisexual, etc.) as three different but integrated facets of people's sexual orientation.

Labels can be difficult and restricting for people. Only you can decide for yourself where you might fit into the categories of sexual orientation. A few things to think about are whether or not you have ever thought about acting on your fantasies. Until then, fantasies are simply creative imaginings that turn people on. Do you find yourself attracted to someone of the same sex in your daily life? Do you like the possibility of having a sexual encounter with a person of the same sex? The key here is not what you call yourself, but what to do about your feelings.

If you want more information check out the try the Gay and Lesbian National Hotline, which provides peer counseling, information, and a variety of other services. 

Last updated Jul 27, 2015
Originally published Apr 27, 1995

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