Q: Am I gay?

A: Maybe. One way of thinking about sexual identity that works for many people is to think of it as a scale or a spectrum: from “completely straight” at one end to “perfectly bisexual” in the middle and to “completely homosexual” at the other end. Most people don’t land exactly on either end (or exactly in the middle) but rather are somewhere in between. Experiments can help you figure out where you fall on the spectrum. But, an experiment, in and of itself, doesn’t automatically mean you’re gay, straight, or anything else.

And it’s actually more interesting than that. For one thing, sexual orientation is fluid and can vary over time. Some people have same-sex partners for part of their lives, and opposite-sex partners for other parts.

You can also think about different aspects of your sexuality: there’s how you identify yourself (“I’m a straight man…”), there’s what you fantasize about (“… who daydreams about other guys…”), and there’s what you do (“… and who seems to sleep mostly with women, but has had occasional flings with other guys in the past.”).

Remember that experimentation is a great way to become a better lover. Although this might be disturbing to you at first, you may find you’ve learned things that will make your sex better whether your future couplings are with the same or the opposite gender.

If you fantasize about same-sex sexual encounters, but have not acted on them, that may just be fantasy. Many people have same-sex fantasies that never happen, and don’t feel the need to act on them. It’s perfectly healthy to have fantasies of any type, and it’s common to have same-sex fantasies and still prefer opposite-sex partners and opposite-sex relationships. Fantasy is a healthy thing that allows you to experience things in your mind.

Perhaps you are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, and there is nothing wrong with that at all!

Q: Do you have resources for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals?

A: Yes, although the resources best for you will vary depending on what you want. First of all, many people — men, women, boys, girls — have fantasies about same sex people or even make an experiment or two with someone of the same sex. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are gay (or bisexual).

For more information…’

  • Read our frequently asked question “Am I Gay?” for more information on how people use the terms “gay”, “straight”, “bisexual”, and “lesbian”.

General Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans/Queer/Questioning Resources

  • GLBT National Hotline
    The GLNH is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. They provide telephone info, email info, referrals, & peer counseling for the GLBT communities. They have over 18,000 listings for the entire US, including groups, organizations, business, bars, doctors, lawyers, therapists, etc.
  • LYRIC Queer Youth Talk Line
    A talk line for young people, 23 or under. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning. Sponsored by LYRIC.
  • SFSI GLBTQ Resource Area – Check our website for various types of resources (health, HIV/AIDS, news, shopping, etc)
  • San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI) – You’re on our web site! We are a free information and referral switchboard providing anonymous, accurate, non-judgmental information about sex. If you have a question about sex, we’ll either answer it or refer you to someone who can. Our volunteers undergo extensive training in all aspects of human sexuality, from reproduction and birth control to safer sex practices to HIV to issues about sexual and gender identity. We may be able to answer your question by phone or refer you to someone who can! We have a database of many specialized resources, including therapists, bookstores, sex clubs, magazines, and activism resources. Learn more about calling us or emailing us.