I thought I was a lesbian for a few years, until pretty recently.
I was never interested in boys growing up but frequently had crushes on girls, and when I finally did get a bf in high school I felt so uncomfortable that I broke up with him after a little while and came out as a lesbian. I had come out to a few people as bisexual previously but that was before I ever dated a man. When coming out as lesbian I did doubt myself a little bit and wondered if really wasn't attracted to any men at all or if it was just my bf that wasn't a good fit for me, but I thought that was probably just my anxieties and the pressure on me to be heterosexual like everyone else I knew. I did try going on dates with men I met on dating apps but I felt just as uncomfortable with them.
While I never really liked men as people to begin with, when I got into radical feminism, I started actively wanting to avoid them as much as possible. So I was really relieved that I only liked women and there would be no chance I would ever end up with a man. I would never have to live out the nightmare of marriage and having kids with a man. As a kid I always said I didn't want to get married, and would tell my mom and dad that if I did have to get married, my husband would have to sleep in a different room. It was a relief to find out that the reason for all that dread was just that I wasn't actually attracted to men.
But now, after about two years after coming out as a lesbian, I'm realizing that I think I am attracted to some men. Because of covid and living in a really rural area, I don't get out much, so it has been really easy not to have to think about my sexuality that much.
There was a TV show that I started watching and there was something about the lead guy that I just couldn't look away from. I went down a rabbit hole of interviews with him on YouTube and at some point, I realized what I was experiencing was attraction. It was the same as how I felt about so many female celebrities I've been interested in but I didn't want to admit it to myself. And when I admitted that to myself, I realized I've had a few of these fascinations with men in movies or shows before. I was just suppressing them. It's always been a very specific kind of guy, too: dark (usually long) hair, kind of feminine (like wearing eyeliner) or at least sensitive somehow. I think because that kind of guy is relatively rare it was easier to ignore.
So I guess I'm bisexual with a strong preference for women, and it makes me really angry with myself. I want to feel immune to men (I would love to live as a separatist someday) but admitting I'm attracted to some of them makes me feel like some of my power has been taken away. I also am embarrassed that I now have to re-label myself as bisexual and sad that I have to withdraw from lesbian spaces where I found support and made friends. I feel like I somehow betrayed those women, even though I didn't realize it myself. I just feel like I should have known, should have figured it out sooner.
And I'm dreading telling my parents who have always hoped that my attraction to women was just some sort of phase. When I first came out to my dad as bi years ago, he asked me if I could at least try to find a man instead of a woman.
I just feel like I've failed somehow. And like I'm broken. I've never had a healthy romantic relationship and at least I was able to explain away my ex-bf by telling myself I just wasn't attracted to him, but if that wasn't the case, then I don't know what's wrong with me.
Has anyone else been through something like this? How do I deal with it?