Skip Nav

Ask E. Jean for DearSugar: Am I a Lesbian?

Dear E. Jean,

I’m wondering more and more lately if I’m a lesbian. I recently graduated from college and I’m back home — the worst! — living with the parents. Two months ago, a couple of my friends from college dropped by for a visit and we hung out in my room. When they left, my mother stamped into my room (she was shaking she was so upset) and literally screamed at me: “I’m allowing you to live here until you find a job and an apartment. While you’re in my house you’ll abide by my rules. You will not invite another lesbian into my home. And, furthermore, if I ever find out you’re seeing lesbians outside my home, or engaging in sick lesbian conduct, your father and I will disown you!”

Believe me, what I just quoted is a much more rational version of what my mother actually said to me. She was hysterical. Crying and yelling and sputtering. (She’d also drunk about four martinis — and was calling her minister for his opinion at the same time she was yelling at me.) Now here’s the strange part. Neither of my friends who visited were gay.

However, I myself had a couple of flings with girls in college. And, weirdly, since my mother went on her gay-hate binge, I’m finding myself more and more attracted to women! (In the past I’ve had two serious relationships with guys.) I’m not certain if I’m suddenly attracted to girls because my parents are such close-minded people and I want to do whatever they tell me not to do ... or if I’m genuinely attracted. Am I gay? Or just very confused. — In Lesbian Limbo

To see E. Jean's answer

MISS LIMBO, my luv:
Oh, please, we’re all lesbians. According to the latest research by Dr. John Michael Bailey — best known for his breakthrough work in sexual orientation — which was reported in Scientific American (among other stately publications) women’s “sexual arousal seems to be relatively indiscriminate — they get aroused by both male and female images.” Yes, yes, we all know this; but here’s the zest in Dr. Bailey’s zipper: “I’m not even sure females have a sexual orientation. But they have sexual preferences. Women are very picky, and most choose to have sex with men.”

Many researchers disagree with Bailey; but, come on. . . It would be odd if you hadn’t made out with girls at some point in your young life. So lose the labels. They limit you. You may feel kinda gay today. . . . So what? Tomorrow you might meet a lad who lights up your lingerie. Go read "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" by Tom Robbins (who I plan to marry in my next life). It will show you all the great Queenhell possibilities!

But the main thing I want to tell you is this: Get the hell out of your mother’s house! The woman is a harpy; a depraved, warp-brained bigot. MOVE OUT! Crash at a friend’s place. I beg your pardon for speaking frankly about the woman who brought you into the world, but she is poison.

To see more advice from E. Jean visit Elle Magazine and

Latest Love
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Order our POPSUGAR Must Have box now >>