Dear Harlan: I think I might be gay. Do I need to have a hookup with a dude to figure it out? I’ve never had a same-sex experience.— Possibly Gay
Dear Possibly Gay: Why categorize your sexual orientation? I mean, by the time you give yourself a label, there could be another label. It’s the same with gender identity. Last fall, Tinder rolled out 37 new gender identities. Some of the most interesting include agender, bigender, gender fluid, gender variant, neutrois, pangender, transfemine, transmasculine and Two-Spirit. According to a Newsweek article, Two-Spirit is a modern term used by some indigenous North Americans to describe certain spiritual people – gay, lesbian, bisexual and gender-variant individuals – in their communities. Whether you’re a homosexual, bisexual or figuring-it-out-sexual (FIOS – I made this up), all you know is that you find men attractive. What happens next is up to you. You can go out with a guy and see how it feels. The most important thing is that you take it slow and have people in your corner. When you are so unsure of your own feelings, it’s vital to have people who have gone through something similar to guide and support you.
Hooking up with a dude will just help validate that you like dudes (but you already know this). What happens after the hookup is where you need to do your planning. You want to make sure that you’re comfortable and balanced. There’s no room for secrets or shame. Figure out who you love, and always love yourself.