This is a question that I’m sure has occurred to many people at some point or another – myself included. It’s probably what young boys or girls ask themselves after coming out to their parents, only to be told “You’re too young to know whether you’re gay or not,” accompanied by another (over-used) statement: “It’s probably just a phase.”
Ok, so if it’s just a phase, what age are you supposed to know your sexual orientation? Is it when you hit 18 and officially become an adult? Maybe we’ve been trained to believe that being ‘straight’ is innately programmed, and believe that you come out of the womb a ‘straight’ baby; however, I think that any sexuality is innately programmed. So, if you were born gay, you’ll probably be able to tell that you are at a younger age than many might think.
That’s not to say that people don’t experience different phases in their life. While going through puberty, hormones are running wild and our teenage years are the period of our lives where most teens begin to explore their sexuality. So, yeah, you might like girls more than boys for a while, and then boys more than girls, and that’s 100% ok because you don’t have to label yourself as anything. But just because feelings change as you get older, it doesn’t mean you’re too young to know your sexuality.
We're not told we’re too young to be heterosexual, are we? So why is being homosexual, bisexual, or anything other than ‘straight’ questioned? Perhaps being straight is considered ‘the norm’ because of what is inflicted on younger children in the form of the media. Think about it, how many times do children see LGBT+ characters in fairy tales, fables and nursery rhymes? From a young age, we’re provided with a strongly heteronormative view of the world around us. Whether you’re 11, 14, 16, 21..., I believe you’re not too young to know yourself and your own preferences. It’s up to you and you alone, and no matter what age you are, you shouldn’t be afraid to embrace the real you.