How sexual orientation can change with age

by Lee Hurley

Before I realized I was actually transgender, I was involved in the lesbian community.

It was commonplace for older women to have lived through their twenties and thirties before realizing that they were actually attracted to women.

Most people assume that these women were always lady lovers, but just didn’t realize it or couldn’t accept it until they got a little older, wiser and more sure of themselves.

That wasn’t just the response of the LGBT community but that of most therapists as well. It’s both right and wrong, as the growing trend in people coming out later in life is showing.

People finally releasing themselves from the heteronormative shackles society imposed on them as they grew up does happen.

But the fact is, science is showing us that sexuality can change throughout our lives, particularly when it comes with love.

Who we are attracted to is not fixed and, as queer people, we should know this.

Most of us started off life being told we would be attracted to, and couple up with, members of the opposite sex. More through luck than judgement, they got this right with me, but I had to live for 20 years as a lesbian and then have a bucketload of surgery to make their prediction come true.

The research and reports around seem to indicate that more women than men change their sexuality later in life, but this could just be down to how much more acceptable it is in our society to be a woman-loving-woman than a man who’s attracted men.

As we become more open as a society and more willing to admit to others when our tastes lead us to stray from the narrow path marked ‘normal,’ more people are feeling freer to let their sexuality flow.

Realizing that you might not be as straight as you always believed can be disorientating and it can take some time to get your head around it, but it can be a positive too.

Coming out as an adult gives you the benefit of that extra wisdom acquired with age. You’re also more likely to be in a position to support yourself and don’t have to fear being rejected by your family.

Well, not in the same way at least. If you think your sexuality might be moving, don’t hide away from it.

Reach out to one of the numerous support groups across the country and speak to someone who can help you understand what’s happening. Personal life circumstances can make things complicated.

If you have a family, for instance, it can be hard for a spouse to accept that your sexuality may have changed or broadened over the years.

Sometimes the sense of lies and betrayal can be the hardest to get past, so if we assume it is possible for your sexual orientation to change, it could make it easier for everyone involved.


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