If you've clicked on this article, it's likely you're either wondering (or have wondered before) "Am I a lesbian?" Please know that coming out is a totally different process for everyone - and some people choose not to come out and that's OK.
To show how varied women who love women's experiences are of realising they're not straight, queer women are sharing how they knew they were lesbians.
1."I realised slowly"
I realised slowly, over the course of a few years. Some thoughts or statements that contributed to my eventual epiphany: I like porn with all women in it sometimes. I guess I could see myself having a threesome with another girl - I mean, that wouldn't totally suck. I guess I'd date a girl, if I met one I liked. I just haven't met one I liked romantically! I think that makes me straight, statistically. I sure do really like that girl - I guess I must really want to be friends with her! Also, she's really pretty and I get giggly when I talk to her. Must be a friend-crush!
"At some point, I just knew. And I knew I'd been lying to myself for months, if not years. I actually felt really thick, in hindsight...
2."I couldn't stop staring at this girl"
"I had a crush on a girl for months before I finally realised that's what it was. In hindsight it seems obvious, but at the time I was like, I can't stop staring at her because I want to have her sweater'".
3."I knew from the age of four"
"I have always known. I never questioned it or was made to feel like it was abnormal. My first crush was Jasmine from Aladdin. I had her merch all over my room. I was four or five."
4."I convinced myself I was just experimenting"
"It's was really hard because I would make excuses for everything. Like I can make out with a friend and I'm just practicing. Watching lesbian porn isn't gay. I can have sex with her, we are just experimenting. Cause I do love men and dicks so I'm good. I just have a girl crush. I have a bf anyway so why should I even care? I am just a straight girl trying to be interesting. I'm straight as an arrow. Once I realised that I would go down on a girl was when I had to admit it to myself.
5."Saying I was interested in men felt wrong"
"I remember wanting babies with a friend at age four, telling another girl that I wish we were allowed to marry women not men (was then informed what gay was and why it was bad - Catholic school), being terrified in a conversation about lesbians in middle school thinking they would figure me out even though I was still completely in denial, wanting to kiss a girl when I was 14 and telling myself I couldn't think like that, refusing to put down 'interested in men' on Facebook at age 18 because it felt wrong and like a lie. Then finally I admitted it to myself and came out at age 20."
6."I was obsessively weird about my female friends"
"I never had any kind of crush a boy. Like... I very distinctly remember a period in primary school that everyone was obsessed with someone, chasing each other down on the playground, writing each other notes, and I was just like 'meh'. In middle school I tried liking boys. I said I liked some boys. But in hindsight I choose 'safe' crushes, either boys way too popular and out of my league so it never went further than whispers at sleepovers with my best friend... or totally nerdy quiet boys who I could claim as my boyfriend but never have to actually hang out with or anything and they'd just fizzle out.
"In middle school I tried liking boys"
"High school came, and I still hadn't even really considered that I was gay. I was sort of obsessively weird about my female friends, but most people kind of were. Like...lots of hugging and handholding and cuddling among friends. I didn't think about boys because I was 'too busy'."
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7."I kissed my best friend"
"It wasn't until my second year of university, when I was living with my best friend that I was like, 'Shit, I think the way I feel about girls is not how you're supposed to feel about friends... I think this is how I'm supposed to feel about boys...' Then one night she kissed me and it was all clear then (P.S. boys kiss gross)."
8."I was disgusted by the idea of getting with boys"
"I was 13 and started having crushes on almost every girl/woman I knew and some I didn't. No crushes on guys and was disgusted by the idea of doing anything romantic with them. It took awhile, but I figured it out."
9. "When it came to sex, I just sort of grinned and bared it"
"I spent so many years convinced I was straight because I really liked the feeling of men being attracted to me. It wasn't until college when I had my first serious boyfriend that it became clear that the way he felt about me was much different than the way I felt about him. We got along great, but when it came to sex, I just sort of grinned and bared it. Coming to terms with your sexuality requires a lot of self-reflection and a lot of time. And because of it, sometimes gay people have to mature a little faster than straight people. It's okay if you're not sure yet. Just remember to consider the feelings of those around you and don't get into a relationship with someone you're not attracted to, because it's really unfair to them. If you want to experiment with other women, be honest with them about how you're feeling because not everyone will want to be part of some girl's experimental phase. But above all, be kind and patient with yourself! It's a journey, for sure."
10. "I never experienced a close emotional bond with a guy"
"The reason I was confused for so long was this: I'd become friends with a guy. Because of society, I would begin to think, 'Okay, this guys is nice and funny and traditionally attractive... therefore I must have a crush on him'. However, I was always missing the one component that actually means you want to date someone: you want to have any kind of physical contact with them. Once I realised I was missing that, but I felt it for girls, I realised I was gay. Also, I have never experienced a close emotional bond with a guy. Not even close."
11. "I just very much liked looking at breasts"
"It wasn't a one and done realisation. It was years of admitting to myself that I really did want to make out with a girl and then years of admitting to myself that I didn't really like guys, I just liked the attention. That said, the moment that started everything off was when I was in middle school looking through a Victoria's Secret catalogue and I realised that I didn't really want a new bra, I just very much liked looking at breasts. I then promptly went into denial about that and spent the next three years trying not to think about how much I liked breasts."