I’ve been confused about my sexuality for two years. I am a 22-year-old female. I liked guys when I was in school, but then, in perhaps the most stereotypical of fashions, I developed a HUGE crush on Tegan and Sara when I was nearly 20. I like the idea of being with women, but I have never had a major crush on anyone since. So I’m really confused over what my sexual orientation actually is.
I know many hetero-identifying people experience same-sex crushes, but can someone’s whole sexual orientation just change overnight? My confusion is compounded by the fact that I’ve never even held someone’s hand, been kissed, or done anything else. I really want to experience such things, have an awesome relationship, and generally just stop feeling like a complete loser. Any help appreciated!
Awfully Nervous Over Newness
“When I was young, I dated boys,” said Tegan Quin, one half of the popular indie duo that prompted you to question your sexuality. “I never thought about love or being ‘in love.’ And I never thought about sexuality. I was lucky to have a group of friends much more interested in each other than dating. And so I was fairly untroubled about my status. Until I kissed a girl. Then I knew who I really was. I was gay.”
Oh, hey, I hope you don’t mind that I shared your letter with Tegan and Sara, ANON. I figured you might appreciate getting some advice directly from your potentially life-altering crush.
Like you, ANON, Tegan used to assume she was straight. “I’d gone most of my teens crushing on guys like Jared Leto, thinking that must make me straight,” says Tegan. “Even though secretly I was dreaming of make-outs with Claire Danes. I thought my crush on Jared Leto vetoed my secret girl crush on Claire Danes. Maybe that was society weighing down on me. Perhaps it was peer pressure keeping me inside the lines of heterosexuality. Or, likely, I just liked them both.”
Based on your letter, ANON, Tegan suspects that you might like both.
“Sexuality is not hard lines,” says Tegan. “It’s not black and white. Not for all of us, anyway. Some people know their whole lives who they are. Some people don’t. My advice: Go and kiss a girl, go and hold a boy’s hand. Don’t worry about who you are until you find out what you like. Maybe you’ll like both — and yay if that’s the way it turns out, because that means you have twice as many people to fall in love with.”
And while Tegan doesn’t think a person’s sexuality can change overnight, she believes — she knows from personal experience — that a person’s awareness of their sexuality can change overnight. “You can have an awakening,” says Tegan. “Like I did when I first kissed a girl. A whole new world can absolutely be waiting for you if you end up feeling up to exploring it. Good luck!”
Tegan and Sara’s newest album is Get Along, and they’re about to embark on a tour of North America. For info, tour dates, music, merch, and more, go to www.teganandsara.com.
DEAR READERS: David Rakoff died last week. He was a writer, a contributor to This American Life, and an all-around spectacular human being. His books — Half Empty, Don’t Get Too Comfortable, and Fraud — are terrific. If you haven’t read David’s books, please read them now. My heart goes out to David’s family and to his countless friends. To get an idea of how many lives David touched, spend some time at www.rorevans.tumblr.com.
Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.