Understanding sexuality

Everyone’s sexuality is different, and it’s not necessarily as simple as ‘gay’ or ‘straight’. Some people are attracted to only one sex, and others are attracted to a diversity of people regardless of sex or gender, with a lot of different preferences in between. Some gay, lesbian or bisexual people say from an early age that they “felt different”, and had crushes on friends of people of the same sex, only associating these feelings with being gay or bisexual later on. Many people don’t discover their sexual attractions until much later into adulthood and it can be just as confusing then.

Sexuality can be confusing. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure. Being young is a time of figuring out what works for you and strong feelings and exploration are often part of that. In time, you’ll find that you’re drawn mostly to men or to women or to both or to neither, and you’ll know then.

Types of sexuality

There are a few common labels people use to identify their sexuality. Your sexuality is not defined by who you have sex with – it’s about how you feel and how you choose to identity yourself.

Straight. Attracted mostly to people of the opposite sex or gender mostly to people of the same sex or gender (used by guys, and often girls too).

Lesbian. Attracted mostly to people of the same sex or gender (used by women).

Bisexual. Attracted to both men and women. Some people use terms like pan or pansexual to say they’re attracted to different kinds of people, regardless of their gender.

Asexual. Not really sexually attracted to anyone.

What you call yourself is up to you – some people choose labels like queer, pansexual, fluid – whatever. The important thing is that you choose what feels comfortable.

You don’t have to label yourself today or ever. For many people this might change over time too.
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