Adolescence is confusing for a bunch of reasons. As your body goes through intense changes, it's inevitable that this pivotal moment in development is met with new and suddenly pressing questions around your identity. During my own adolescence, I continually struggled to find helpful resources to answer questions about my sexual orientation. In school, sex ed never felt in-depth enough to be truly useful for me, between the various explainers, the outdated (and heteronormative) films that were screened, and the ‘sex talks’ that left me hyper aware of my body’s ability to reproduce. Meanwhile, with my friends, I was left feeling excluded from their many conversations gushing over the older boys in high school. Was there something wrong with me if I didn’t find male abs mesmerizing?
For me, and many other young queer women, these lacking conversations left me alone to figure out how I defined my sexuality, with a million and half unanswered questions that lingered into my young adulthood. Bustle asked 20 other young women about what they wish they could tell their teenage selves about identity and sexuality, and from their answers, it's clear that sexuality is far more personal, confusing, and connected to self-love than most seem to realize.