Some might wonder why I'm finding it so hard to figure out such a basic part of myself. But as you probably know, it's not a matter of checking a box and moving on. Sexuality is a spectrum, and I have found both fluidity and ambiguity on mine.
When did I first know I was different? 'When did I not know' may be a more appropriate question. I was always different, dressing up in costumes, sporting a very unique style, doing things my own way. At the same time, I also clung to authority and never had trouble following the rules. I was a good, precocious, and odd boy.
At fifteen yrs-old at scout camp, I first realized I had a same-sex attraction. It was like, "I'm flirting with a guy" (lamely, but still). I racked my memory and concluded I was gay: As a child in a store with my mom, I would sometimes fall behind as I found myself stopped, looking at the model on the poster marking the boys' section. I remembered the boys in my kindergarten class, J---- and C----, whom I had always been mysteriously drawn to. In elementary school there was a boy with whom I waited for a bus once a week; I came to look forward to that day of the week, but passed off my protective feelings for him as 'paternalistic'.
But the reality was not that simple, because there were girls I had had my eyes on, too. M---- in kindergarten, A--- as an early-grader, and A----- in late elem. school.
Junior high brought hormones and crushes, on both a girl and guys (though I didn't use that term then).
Today, my physical attractions vary--I sometimes dream of gals, sometimes of guys. Emotionally, I connect with guys, more or less, though I relate with girls as well. Socially, I have wonderful friendships with both genders. And as for the stomach-bound butterflies, thinking of females can make my breaths somehow deeper (the right word? maybe 'tighter' is better), but when the right male enters the room, there can be a sort of--how to put it--yearning that I feel in my gut. It's like having a straight mind and a gay core, if that makes any sense (I'm sure it doesn't).
I suppose my best--well, only--option is to give myself time to figure out who I am.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who has responded to the poll and theme!