Sexual Identity Evolves over Time, Expert Says
Del Re, Sandra, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Sandra Del Re Daily Herald Staff Writer
At what point does someone realize he or she is gay?
Although experts do not agree on exactly when sexual identity and orientation is set, most agree it is something that evolves over time on an individual basis.
But one psychologist says there are some stages a person who is gay or lesbian may experience.
There are no steadfast rules, but the process can begin as early as 5 years old, when a child realizes he or she is different in some way but cannot verbalize it, said Faughn Adams, a clinical psychologist who is program director at the Pride Youth drop-in center in Palatine.
Next, a child or teen may explore the possibility in his or her mind, Adams said.
Then, he or she may begin to understand sexual orientation in the teenage years, a time of sexual awakening.
"They are better at labeling," Adams said. "A girl's parents may ask, 'Why aren't you dating guys? …