Regardless of how you identify—whether it be as lesbian, bisexual, asexual, another term, or nothing at all—how you choose to label yourself is not based on a checklist. Sexuality is a spectrum, and there’s a ton of gray area on that line in terms of gender and preferences. So to be clear: There’s no tell-all way that would determine if you’re gay (or anything else).
But by definition, to identify as gay, it would mean that you maybe feel sexual and/or romantic attraction to someone of your same gender identity, says LGBTQ+ expert Kryss Shane. “Sometimes it’s a general awareness, other times it’s self-recognition from a same-sex friendship that begins to feel like something more, and sometimes it’s through sexual exploration,” Shane explains.
However, just because some people experience an aha moment does not mean you will too, and that’s perfectly normal. So if you find yourself questioning if you are gay—while, again, there’s no definitive way to know—it might be helpful to read these 14 women’s stories on the moment they knew that they were.