Your sexual identity will shape the relationships that you go on to have, your choice of partner and the kind of sex that you prefer. Although many people are aware of their sexuality in childhood, it’s when you hit adolescence that it becomes more of a focus. Generally speaking sexuality falls into three different types, although it’s important to recognise that we are human beings and so don’t always fit neatly into a particular category! People may identify in a number of other ways besides these.
- Gay: Men or women (lesbians) who are attracted to members of the same sex
- Bisexual: Men or women who are attracted to members of either sex
- Heterosexual: Men or women who are attracted to members of the opposite sex
Maybe you are unsure about your sexuality and would find it helpful to have a safe space to question and explore who you are. Or perhaps you have known from an early age that you felt different from the majority of your friends. It’s not unusual for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to struggle with their sexuality, and counselling or therapy can help you to learn to accept yourself. This can feel difficult in a world that is predominantly heterosexual. You might worry about other people’s reactions, or perhaps you are struggling to find a comfortable fit between your cultural or religious beliefs and your sexual identity.
Counselling and therapy can also help you come to terms with other people’s sexuality eg. if a family member or close friend has come out.
Gender Dysphoria (Transgender)
Gender dysphoria simply describes someone who feels that they were born the wrong sex. If you identify in this way you may feel that there is something wrong with your body, and wish to opt for sexual re-assignment surgery. Although gender is different from sexuality, many LGB organisations add a T to show that they also offer support to the transgender population. For more detailed information on transgender:
Further information & advice on sexuality
Here are some other organisations that can provide specialist information:
Lesbian & Gay Foundation
IMAAN - support for Muslim LGBT people and their families
Or, if you have been the victim of homophobia or hate crime get in touch with Galop.