How do I know if the guy or girl I like is gay too? How do I get to know the guy or girl I like? How do I know if someone likes me?

These questions are often asked in emails to bgiok. This section aims to help.

It’s often hard to discover whether someone is gay or not, especially if they’re not out (openly gay). This doesn’t make the job of finding a boyfriend or girlfriend very easy, especially if you’re keeping your sexuality a secret too. If you discover someone you like is gay you find yourself facing the next hurdle: whether they like you or not. Perhaps you admire someone from afar and feel shy about approaching them.

  • Firstly, have faith in yourself and don’t put yourself down. Why shouldn’t someone be interested in you? You don’t need to be a super model or talented celebrity to find love. Don’t entertain nonsense about being out of someone’s league; you are as good as anyone else and just as deserving of a relationship. Just be yourself, and the right person for you will respond to that in a positive way.
  • It sounds obvious, but the best way to find something out about the person you like is to get to know them. If you like someone who you haven’t spoken to before, think of ways you can change that. Perhaps you have a friend in common who could introduce you. Perhaps you have some of the same classes at school or go to the same after-school group. Maybe you go to some of the same parties or spend time in the same places. You could talk about a hobby or interest, a favourite film or song. Put a friendly smile on your face and find a way to get talking!
  • Whether it’s an existing friend or someone you’ve just met, you can begin to work out how someone might feel about you by noticing their behaviour. Perhaps they behave differently when you are alone together, especially if they are not openly gay to the majority of their friends. Are they more tactile when you’re alone? Is the conversation more intimate? Do they bring up topics that they wouldn’t in front of other people? Do they seem more relaxed? Do they flirt? These could all be signs of attraction.
  • If you are feeling brave you could ask the person you like if they like you too. This can be a very scary thing to do, especially if you haven’t told anyone before that you are gay. The person you like may tell other people about what happened, so think carefully before you take this step. Also consider that the person you like may not be as ready as you are to reveal their sexuality, regardless of how they feel about you. Still, you feel strongly that there’s a chance of turning the friendship into more, revealing your feelings to your friend is the most direct way to make something happen. At the very least you’ll know from their reaction whether it’s worth pursuing or if it’s time to move on.
  • Don’t get stuck in a rut, guessing about someone for years. You will be missing out on other people who might like you. If you never seem to get anywhere with the person you like, it might be time to move on. You don’t want a project – you want a boyfriend/girlfriend!
  • Try not to be disappointed if the person you like isn’t interested or isn’t gay. It’s not because of you or anything you have done. Sometimes those special feelings just aren’t there. It might hurt now, but there are lots of people out there who’ll be attracted to you too.