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Dr. Jay Nagdimon

December 1996

Ask Dr. Jay

Q: Dear Dr. Jay,

Hi! I'm an Korean American female. I'm 18 years of age and I'm a freshmen in college. I have been extremely concerned with my identity. This year, I've started to question myself about my sexuality. It all began with a friendship that was blooming endlessly. I'll just call her Cara (she's the same age as me). We've been friends for about four in a half years, but our friendship grew strongest during this summer. We did almost everything together we even experienced working together in the same job. We came over to each others house everyday, called each other every moment and so on. We were dependent of each other now. I felt as if we were one with each other. We experienced everything a true friendship can offer. But I believe we went beyond a friendship. It seemed more like a relationship, except that she was a girl too. I have never felt this innermost love with another guy, except for her. The most difficult period for me is when she went away for college. I had took her up on Sunday to help her get settled in her new atmosphere. I stayed over night in her dorm. We arrived late and so she was stuck with the bottom bunk bed. I slept with her in the same bed. We held hands. (It was so wonderful). I felt so much chemistry though that. Just a little stroke of her fingers to comfort me ran chills throughout my body. Eventually our bare legs were touching too....and so on.... After that day, when I drove back home, she came with me because school started in two days. In the car, she reached for my hand to hold. We do a lot of holding hands and other little touches... My problem is, since we never talked about the issue of homosexuality "containing US". (We do talk about it, but it's always pertaining someone else)I don't know what to think. She's supposedly straight and so am I, but the thing is, I've always been attracted to not only men, but females as well. I don't mean every girl I see turns me on. Actually Cara is the first girl who can trigger my sexual desires, but of-course, she doesn't know it. I'm AFRAID to expose that issue, since it's already been avoided. I'm also afraid to tell her how I feel about her in "that way" -cause what if I lose her. I don't know how she'll take it. I don't want her to get freaked out. Maybe I'm wrong about the whole issue because she's a very compassionate and loving person, who may have got stuck in a trap that "I" created. Once again, she doesn't know that I have feelings for her in "that way". I do know that she thinks of me as her best friend, teacher, sister, and beloved. And so do I. All of that very strongly, but more. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.....frustrated I don't know what to do. Who is the girl that lives within me? I really appreciated who ever is reading this. I hope to get a response as soon as possible. I wasn't able to express my feelings clearly as I would have wished. Can you please help me...am I homosexual? Then would I be categorized as a bisexual? I truly think that I'm just simply in love, but with a girl. Thank you for listening....

Frustrated, Jewels

A:

Dear Jewels,

Perhaps rather than asking if you are homosexual, it might be easier to ask if you have homosexual feelings for your friend. The answer to that question seems an obvious yes. Starting from that point, you can then ask yourself if you have had these feelings before. In your letter you mention that you have had attractions to women before, although not as strong as your feelings for Cara. If this is the case, then you could consider yourself bisexual. If, as you get older, you realize you have strong romantic and sexual feelings for mostly women, then might consider yourself a lesbian. It may be too early for you to define yourself rigidly. Since you have not had a lot of years to consider your sexuality, your feelings may become clearer with time.

As for Cara, it seems to me that your friendship has in deed gone beyond typical friendly affection. Holding hands and little touches are more in the category of lovers than buddies. I think it would be appropriate for you to express at least part of your feelings. Since your relationship is so close and you have been friends for four years, it would be reasonable for you to share the fact that you have some gay feelings along with your straight feelings.

Depending on her response, you can decide whether or not to admit your attraction to her. There is the possibility that she feels the same way you do. After all, she has made no effort to reduce the level of closeness in your friendship. She may, however, respond that she doesnąt have same sex attractions and wonders if you have an attraction to her. I think at this point I would be honest. She is asking you directly and to lie would only complicate matters. You should be up front with your feelings but also express your concern about her reaction. You should tell her that you have decided to tell her after much soul-searching. You should tell her that you couldnąt continue to lie and deceive you very best friend, that you had to be honest in order to feel good about the relationship.

If Cara cares for you as much as your letter suggests, she will not abandon you. She may not share your feelings, but she must care a great deal about you in order to be the other half in a wonderful friendship.

Best of luck,
Dr. Jay


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