Well this is the kind of question i can only speculate on really, because derek hasn’t really shown a lot of sexual range on the show so far. We’ve only been overtly witness to his relationships with girls (most of which are abusive btw), other than that we only have his actions, expressions and development especially in regard to stiles to go on.
His relationship with Braeden does to me seem to first and foremost be about physical attraction and derek being in charge of his own choices for once. I do think they both care for each other, but don’t see it as love. I’ve talked about how she helped him through his “bardo” and to break the viscious circle of abusive relationships before.
Personally i’ve always had this headcanon that werewolves, notably the born wolves, generally are more fluid in their preferences. I believe scent and smell are more important in defining who they find attractive and desireable rather than their sex.
Throughout the series we’ve been witness to Derek’s behaviour towards stiles and although it starts of antagonistc and hostile, we’ve seen how deeply he does care for him. In season 1 and 2 we had an abundance on looks when Stiles surprises him. Derek just stares at him like “how is he even real” and he does save him and borderline flirts (the basketball thing in 2x04 mirrors his flirting with paige in 3x08)
In season 3 something had changed, they were more at ease (stiles helping look for boyd and erica over the summer is implied), the flirting more obvious and we start to see the “trust pose” which signals the begining of derek choosing stiles as his new anchor.
And don’t forget that Jennifer used situations stiles and derek had shared and also copied stiles’ mannerisms in her seduction of him - clearly that means something. Don’t believe me - watch this.
Stiles also broke the spell she had over him, he has literaly light bulb moment when stiles comforts him
and once again he comes back for him and saves him. that is the look of awe!
the whole season 3b is Derek worried out of his mind about stiles, abandoning all previous strategies of “kill first, ask questions later”. He fixes stiles jeep, trails Chris Argent for most of the season to make sure he doesn’t kill him either. We have the chessboard and also don’t forget the scene at the loft where we get derek’s reaction shot when argent pulls the gun on stiles. And what have we learned about that? We always show the reaction of the person most affected. Click here to see what i mean.
And let’s not forget the anchors scene at the end. why would derek make stiles is anchor if he wasn’t emotionally invested?
And now we’ve come to the point were I shamelessly pimp out cupid’s anchor meta serie. Seriously, just read it.
sterekmeta did a post on this as well not so long ago, and at the end mentioned something Jeff Davis let slip during an interview. On question of what Derek did when he lived in NYC he said he went to a gay club…
I agree with sterekmeta’s conclusion to her post, and think that derek is probably pansexual, and that gender is irrelevant when it comes to who he loves or not.
So did Braeden help him realize his true sexuality? Honestly, i don’t think the question of how derek defines himself sexually has been his biggest issue, but rather how he perceives himself. And Braeden certainly helped him accept himself and come out the other side for the better. Derek and Stiles have different issues to work through, for stiles it is his sexuality and his spark which goes hand in hand, and for Derek it was his self image, self worth and coming to terms with who he was both as a wolf and a human and breaking out of harmful relationships.