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I’m a 14 year old pansexual (or bisexual, I'm not 100% sure) girl. I've been talking to this guy for quite some time, who lives a bit further down my street and is 15. I’ve grown to like him as my crush, but I think he’s part of the LGBTQ+ community as well. That, of course, is fine, but I don’t know if he is bisexual or gay...

He has a rainbow in his Instagram bio, so I have reason to believe that he might be part of the LGBTQ+ community. However, he’s kind of been flirty with me, I’m not sure, but he just keeps complimenting me and he’s always looking at my house when he passes it. I also am the first one to whom he showed one of his books. We also have a LOT in common: the same taste in music, both play guitar and sing, we both watch the same streamers on Twitch, and we both like horror.

I just really want to know if and how I should ask him if he’s gay, bisexual, or something else? I’m afraid he isn’t ready to tell me, and if I ask him, he might feel pressured into telling me and I don’t want that to happen.

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    seems to me you won't gain much by asking him: what matters is not so much if you're gender-eligible (and he may not be completely sure) but if he's interested in you. And as other questions here have tackled, the only way to find out about that is to be a little vulnerable and tell him you're attracted to him. Exactly how to do that would be a different question. – Kate Gregory Nov 9 '20 at 1:49
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Unless one of you two is totally prejudiced against anyone with the "wrong" (for them) LGBTQ+ status, it doesn't really matter if he is LGBTQ+ or not. He's either interested in you or he isn't, that's the only thing that matters.

About the "rainbow" symbol on Instagram: You can just ask him what that rainbow means as if you had no idea - and if he says "it means nothing" stop asking. "It means nothing" means it means something, but he doesn't want to tell you, or not right now, so you respect that. Without saying that you understand what he said. "No idea, I just thought it looked nice" means he doesn't know; the symbol was just a red herring and means nothing. Or he explains what it means, and then you know. A good way to ask might be "I like that rainbow on your Instagram profile. Does it mean anything?"

(Right now in the UK people use the rainbow symbol to state support for the National Health Service with the Covid crisis. Others have given different examples. So the rainbow might mean something entirely different to him than what you expect.)

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You could try to "ask and not ask": Share related information about yourself. You might tell him about you not being sure if "bi" or "pan" or something else is the correct label for yourself. Maybe you're not comfortable with labels at all? Then tell him this.

It's just important that what you share is the truth. Doesn't have to be whole truth, only what you're comfortable to share. This will establish - or deepen - trust, which might lead to him talking about himself. Or he might not be talking about himself, which would be perfectly fine. (This "tell about yourself to give someone else a space to open up" approach is one that I have "used" myself in the past. Not used in a calculating way, but as part of a social dynamic in a friendship.)

And even if you find out that he's bi or pan or hetero ace or a closeted gay trans girl - anything that would fit "in theory" ... this doesn't mean that he's interested in a relationship with you beyond being friends. If you want to know that, you have to ask that. Or you go one step at a time in deepening the relationship through shared activities and just wait and see where it leads.

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  • thank you! I will try to do that. – moobloom Nov 9 '20 at 15:33
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Instagram people add rainbow emoji for a subtle hint and rainbow flag for clear cut declaration of them being part of the community. But also many people for achieving higher reach copy paste from popular accounts so rainbow may or may not mean that, as I did experience this when a person used rainbow filter for US equal marriage rights trend in Facebook and when I asked he said he doesn't know the meaning and removed it in next 5 minutes only after I educated him.

Even similarly my sister used the gay rainbow emoji in her son's Insta story and a stranger asked do you even know what it stands for and she removed it.

So you can do some actions before approaching him:

  • check his insta followers/following. I mean many of us follows our ideals who are our LGBT celebs or influencers or LGBT pages

  • photo hashtag, if he is out he might be using such hashtag as #pride #lgbt #instagay etc

Also, you can just drop the topic in front of him indirectly and see his reaction. I do that before coming out to my friends, bring the topic, and see their reactions. Talk about some recent LGBT news etc

Also if he is close enough and you can take a chance just come out yourself or share some other personal thing to make him open up to you.

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