What is sexuality?

  • Sexuality is the word used to describe who you are attracted to.
  • Sometimes, who you are attracted to will change over time.
  • What’s important is that you feel free to fancy whoever you like and that you feel comfortable with your sexual identity, whether you’re heterosexual, gay, lesbian or bisexual.

What is same sex attraction?

  • You may find you are attracted to someone of the same sex, or that you have a crush on them.
    This could mean that you are gay or lesbian or bisexual.
  • Or, your feelings may change and you may become more attracted to the opposite sex, or even both sexes.
  • Your sexuality can change – in fact, who you are attracted to is not really something you can choose or control.

Why am I worried about my sexuality?

  • Sexuality is one of the things people have the most worries and concerns about.
  • You may feel confused about which sexuality you are or you may be worried about how people will treat you if you’re gay, lesbian or bisexual.
  • It may help to talk things through with someone.

I’m being bullied

What is being heterosexual?

If you are heterosexual or ‘straight’ you are attracted to people of the opposite sex.

How do I know if I’m heterosexual?

  • Lots of people know from quite a young age if they are attracted to boys or girls, but some people might not start thinking about relationships and who they fancy until they are older.
  • You can also be straight even if you have fancied someone who is the same sex as you.

Is it normal?

  • Being attracted to someone of the opposite sex is completely normal.
  • Because more people are straight than are gay, lesbian or bisexual, some people think being gay, lesbian or bisexual is ‘abnormal’. This is not true – no sexuality is better or more normal than another.
  • At the end of the day no-one is really ‘normal’ – whether you’re gay, bisexual or heterosexual you’re one of the remarkable individuals that make up the human race.

All the same?

Gay, straight and bisexual are categories we use to describe who we are sexually attracted to. In some ways these categories are useful as they help us to meet people who we can have relationships with, but in other ways they cause problems as they make us think we are very different when we are not.

It does not matter if you are gay, straight or bisexual, when it comes to having sex, relationships and falling in love, it is the same for everyone.

What is bisexuality?

Being bisexual means you are romantically and sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex and people of the same sex. As you grow up you become more aware of your sexuality and you might find that you fancy boys and girls, perhaps you have always felt this way, or it may be something new.

Being bisexual does not mean that you have to like boys and girls equally, or that you have to go out with both. Also, your sexuality can change over time, so you might find you sometimes prefer the same or the opposite sex.

Is it normal?

  • Growing up bisexual is not always easy and you might be feeling worried about your sexual orientation.
  • Being bisexual is completely normal and you have the right to be who you are and have relationships with whoever you like. Remember, it is your sexuality and it is up to you how you define it.

What if people treat me differently?

Sometimes people discriminate against bisexual people. This means that they may be unkind or have ideas about you that are wrong. For example, some people think that bisexual people are confused about whether they are gay or straight or that they are being ‘greedy’ by liking boys and girls. This kind of discrimination is homophobic and you can get help with this from Each Action.

Who can I talk to?

Some people find that joining a group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender young people really helps. This will give you the opportunity to meet other bisexual young people who will probably understand any worries or problems you might be having. There will also be qualified youth workers you can talk to who can help you deal with a range of issues like coming out, coping with bullies and safer sex.

If you have a question or you are unsure about anything then ask a Talksafe Counsellor or Peer Mentor.

Do you feel better informed on the issues that concern you after reading this information?

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NHS Choices: Am I gay, lesbian or bisexual?
Young People Friendly: my sexuality

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Last review: 29/09/14 – Next review: 29/09/17