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Sexuality

What’s my sexual identity?

Sexual identity or sexual orientation is just a way to describe who you are attracted to. Most people will either fancy people of the opposite sex, people of the same sex or people of both sexes. These are the most common terms to describe sexual identity:

  • Straight (or heterosexual). This means people who fancy people of the opposite sex – so a boy who fancies girls or a girl who fancies boys.
  • Gay (or homosexual). This means people who fancy people of the same sex – so a boy who fancies boys or a girl who fancies girls. Gay doesn’t just refer to boys!
  • Lesbian. This means girls who fancy girls. A girl who fancies other girls might call herself lesbian or gay.
  • Bisexual (or bi). This means people who fancy people of both sexes.
  • Asexual. This means you’re not attracted to either sex.

You might have seen the word LGBT before. This stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Read about coming out and homphobia here. 

Gender

When we are born a doctor or nurse will decide whether we have male or female sex organs. This is called your biological sex.

People also have an inner feeling about whether they are male or female. This is their gender and it doesn’t always match with the way other people see them.

Some people feel unhappy with the gender they are brought up as. They might have been brought up a boy, but feel like a girl inside, or the other way around. Or they might want to change themselves physically to look more like the gender they feel inside. This is often known as being transgender or trans for short.

You might have heard of the terms transsexual or transvestite. Have a look at this page to find out what they mean.

Some people might not feel like a girl or a boy. They might feel somewhere in between – on some days more like a girl and on other days more like a boy. This is sometimes called being gender fluid.

The only person who can say what gender you are is you.

The Mix, the Brook and Childline have some useful information and advice about gender and being trans.

Myth: being trans means you’re gay

Nope – being trans is a separate issue. Trans people can be straight, gay, or bisexual, just like everyone else.

Need some more help?

If you’d like more help, support or want to ask a question you can email us (youngmember@ndcs.org.uk).

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