This is the modern dilemma for women questioning their sexuality.
As if understanding your sexuality isn’t enough, phrases like ’girl crush’ or its cringe equivalent ’woman crush Wednesday’ hinder women from feeling confident in their sexual identity. People are starting to question the harm of these terms when popularised by straight women only to express platonic/ friendly feelings.
One of the earliest recognizable uses of the term ‘girl crush’ was in the early 2000s. It was commonly used amongst fashion circles as a way of commending somebody’s aesthetic. The popularisation of the phrase created a sense of normality for women liking women. Now having a girl crush is often used by closeted women as a mask to express their desires without having to experience fear of coming out.
The phenomenon of labeling your sexuality creates a rush into thinking you must thoroughly know your sexual identity. The frustration of feeling you need a label is only being made harder to identify due to the question of if you are LGBTQ+ or if this is just a girl crush.
So how do I know if it’s just a girl crush?
Growing up, I’d mask my feelings towards other women by ruling them off as simply girl crushes. This denial pushed back what felt like the chore of questioning my sexuality and the potential realization that my feelings towards women were different from the girl crushes straight women around me were having.
Upon making more LGBTQ+ friends and talking to them about sexuality, I began to feel okay about questioning myself more. I believe the key is having a support system of people with whom you would feel comfortable coming out. Having a supportive group around you makes questioning whether you want to be the girl or be with the girl a lot easier.
Looking back, I can see that the liberation of feeling positive about my sexuality outweighs the desire to appear straight. The complexity of sexuality means you may even question yourself after years of thinking you may be one certain sexuality. Re-questioning is another totally normal aspect.
Do I need to label myself?
It’s not necessary! It feels comforting for some people; for others, it feels restrictive. In a time where people are beginning to debate the relevance of labeling your sexuality, we’re learning that many people are not comfortable or well suited to labels. Ultimately, labeled or not labeled, all that matters is your pride in who you love.
Although there seems to be no way to understand the difference if your girl crush brings you feelings of romantic or sexual desire, congratulations, you may be LGBTQ+! The spectrum of sexuality is so varied that it can be hugely beneficial to discover and question your sexuality. Regardless, you should be proud of any conclusion you come to! Besides, most people around you are probably questioning or have questioned themselves too.
Interested in reading more about the latest news? Click here to read about how New York IDs will now have the option of ‘X’ gender marker.