OMG! Story of my life!! I'm probably bi, but I can't say I can put a lid on that and call it "the end." And what is just as confusing is my apathetic attitude toward sex [I don't seem to have much of a "sex drive."] and that I am attracted to male bodies one moment, and female bodies the next, and then somewhat of a combination. I have thought for a while I was some kind of freak show. But I guess there is no such thing as a "Freak" in the GLBTQ community. ^_^
Lol, I can SO relate! When I was in high school I went from noticing guys to girls to guys and so on, but it never really at the same time. The idea of bisexuality never connected, so I thought I was straight most of the time, but maby twice a month or every couple of months I went through this crisis of..."OMG, am I A LESBIAN!!??!!" Which was sooo traumatic, since I'd been 'praying away the gay' since age six (fucking catholicism). In college, I learned about bisexuality and felt so much relief!!! Sometimes I still have that omg feeling of: "what if I am really a lesbian or am I straight--this bisexuality thing can't be real!" ...but then I realize it's just the biphobia and I chill. Now, I'm attracted to people with genders all over the board.
BTW... the GLBTQI community is so diverse [from what I have heard] that it's not uncommon to not have a definite "label" for yourself. Just be yourself... and "to hell" with what anyone else thinks of it.
Have you ever explored asexuality? There are different forms of it, it's worth a look since this is how you feel. I have several friends that consider themselves asexual who also consider themselves atheist or agnostic.
I use to think I was straight, then I figured I loved women, then a man came along. If I'm lesbian, then the future will tell me; if I'm straight, well, I don't feel I really am straight. All I know is what my heart/privates want. If I like/love that person, it's not because of their gender.
Anyway, I'd love to be just a lesbian, but my heart says "Liar!". I almost wish I were straight, but my heart would say, "Liar!"
I personally have trouble approaching a woman I'm attracted to... it's much harder than approaching a guy... ya' know... you never know if you're gonna creep a girl out.
So I've never dated another girl either.
It also depends on your arena. Bars and nightclubs are bad for me, but if it's a friend of a friend, sometimes I have a better chance. Volunteering for your local glbtq club also helps you mingle. We're surrounded by straight people. Out in the everyday world, people of the opposite sex think you're fair game, unless you say so, but the most daring thing you can do is flirt with someone of the same sex "out there". Good luck in your pursuits!
I am leaning ever more towards a rejection of the heterosexual/homosexual, male/female, masculine/feminine binary in discussion of human sexuality. The term bisexual suggests the same binary. I don't doubt that some individuals lean, by nature, more towards attraction to people of the same sex as their own, and some more to another sex, but even there, I think, nurture--not only early socialization by family, but also conditioning by the larger society and by observation, reading, watching, thinking--plays a significant role. I think animals, the human animal perhaps more than most others, are highly adaptable and that sexuality is one part physical (body parts) and another part psychological/emotional/cerebral (the person), so context can render a person attracted to another outside of one's usual predilections. I can, for example, be sexually attracted to a person whom I would never have found sexually attractive in a picture. Sometimes a person I would otherwise not find attractive at all, not my type at all, can become very attractive because of context--physical proximity and/or contact, social interaction and behavioural cues, humour, intelligence, emotional intimacy, etc.
I am also very suspicious of the 'ever since I was x years old I just knew' stories because of our tendency to reach back into our past, into our memories, to find evidence for, construct a case, and build a foundation upon which our current beliefs and feelings can rest. It makes us feel connected, anchored, less mutable, and therefore stronger to face internal and external resistance. I think we like to typecast ourselves as much as we typecast others.
I know why we prefer binaries and clear categories--they make for easier identification of friend and foe, don't require us to do much thinking or (self)analysis, and they allow us to feel more stable, less changeable. Binaries allow us to more easily take a stand, plant our feet firmly and say this is what and who I am, what I believe, what I do, and what is good. All else is not me, contrary to my beliefs, other than what I do, and quite possibly bad, or at least questionable.
I prefer the term omnisexual or, if we can learn to pay less attention to rigid categories altogether, simply sexual. We are sexual beings, people who may have certain hormonally determined predilections, certain conditioned responses, but who can, if we allow ourselves and depending upon context, love, lust and be sexual with other people regardless of sex, gender or orientation. We are also beings who may feel one kind of attraction now and another later.
Sorry if I haven't answered your question directly, only contributed to a discussion surrounding human sexuality.
I do believe I agree with most of your observations about the labels being fluid. I've also observed individuals who lean so far to one side or the other (homo/hetro) that I couldn't picture a different outcome for him/her. I don't necessarily agree with the concept of "knowing" at an early age. I did have an intense crush on my 4th grade teacher which I could take as a "sign" but in reality it was my first discovery of not fitting into societies norm.