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Questioning is something people do when they are unsure if the assumptions they had previously made about themselves hold true. Some people may find themselves questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Questioning begins the first time a person feels or notices something which does not fit with their previous assumptions and ends with a resolution to these feelings and certainty of identity.
A person born with male genitalia may begin questioning after feeling like a girl. A female may question her sexual orientation if she is only attracted to females, or attracted to both males and females, as she may have been told she will fall in love with a boy.
Questioning can be a difficult process for people because it affects one’s sense of self and relationships with friends, family members, and potential partners. People with a strong sense of self are typically more confident, so when this sense of identity is threatened it can make people withdraw and feel less secure. Questioning individuals often worry that the people they know will not accept them or understand them.
Counseling can help questioning people come to terms with their feelings. Online communities and websites telling the stories of others who’ve questioned their identities can also help questioning people feel less alone and more understood.
While questioning can be an anxious, confusing, and challenging time, it also presents an opportunity for personal growth and a happier, more confident existence.
It’s important to note that not every person questioning will discover they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Some people discover what they originally thought about themselves is indeed true.