Whether you fancy people of the opposite sex (straight), only fancy people of the same sax (gay), are attracted to both sex’s (bisexual)… it’s about who you have sexual feelings for that matter.
Some people realise they are gay, lesbian or bisexual at an early age, while others may not know until later in life. Some young people may also be confused about their sexual identity.
It can help to talk to other people who are going through the same thing. There are support groups available for LGBT or undecided young people.
It’s your body, your life, you choice.
If you’re thinking of coming out about your sexuality, it can be very daunting and you may be thinking about how people will respond.
When and if you’re ready start by telling someone you trust, and who will be supportive. You will then gradually get more comfortable telling more and more people. It’s also a good idea to tell people somewhere you both feel comfortable and able to talk freely.
Unfortunately, homophobia (fear or negative attitude towards gay people) can happen, but don’t be ashamed of your sexuality. Being picked on because of your sexuality can be upsetting and damaging but remember you’re not the problem, they are. Do not suffer in silence, tell someone and get support.
Bullying UK: Homophobic bullying
Stonewall: Homophobic bullying
Trans people feel the gender they are born with does not match their sense of self.
Trans women are assigned as male at birth but identify as female. Trans men are assigned as female at birth but identify as male. Other trans people cannot identify exclusively as female or male and are non-binary. Some people feel more comfortable cross-dressing in clothes often associated with the opposite gender.
Sometimes trans people choose to transition, moving away from their assigned gender to that which they feel matches their sense of identity. This might take the form of changing their name, clothing, general appearance or in some cases taking medical steps such as starting a series of hormones or surgery. Gendered Intelligence offer a free Trans Youth Sexual Health Booklet, offering further support surrounding trans issues.
Everyones experience is different, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and advice.