Sexuality is about how you see and express yourself romantically and sexually. There are lots of ways to describe sexuality (and gender). Many of these are captured by the term LGBTQ+
Let’s break the term down:
- L – lesbian (someone who identifies as a woman and is attracted to other people who identify as women)
- G – gay (someone who is attracted to people who identify as the same gender)
- B – bisexual (someone who is attracted to people of the same gender and people of another gender. Bisexuality does not necessarily assume there are only two genders)
- T – transgender or trans people (someone who’s personal and gender identity is different from the one they were assigned at birth)
- Q – queer (this term has many different meanings, but it has been reclaimed by many as a proud term to describe sexuality or gender that is anything other than cisgender and/or heterosexual)
- + – (this acknowledges there are many other diverse sexual orientations and gender identities).
What if I’m not sure of my sexuality?
You might be unsure of your sexuality (questioning) or experience fluid sexuality (when someone’s sexuality changes over time). Some prefer to identify as queer, as it’s broader and doesn’t place someone into a specific category. Others might not like any of these terms or don’t want to identify their sexuality at all and that’s OK too. It’s important to remember that your identity is yours; and the way you want to describe it, and who you share that with, is completely up to you. Your sexuality can change over time. While they are sometimes talked about together, sexual identity is different to gender identity
This is a way to describe how someone feels about their gender. For example, some people may identify as a boy or a girl, while others may find neither of these terms feel right for them, and identify as neither or somewhere in the middle. Although people often confuse them, gender identity is different from someone’s biological sex or assigned gender at birth and from sexuality or who someone’s attracted to.
While many people identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, for others gender is more of a spectrum, with lots of different possible identities. Gender identity is a personal feeling, and a child or young person will be the best person to know what matches how they feel. Children and young people can also question or feel unsure about their gender identity, or find that their gender identity changes over time. This is sometimes called ‘gender fluid’.
In our lifetime, we may come into contact with people who have difficulty accepting others who are different to them. This means that some people exploring their sexuality are faced with challenges that may affect their mental health and wellbeing. If you experience this type of behaviour, remember there is nothing wrong with you.
If you would like advice or support on gender or sexuality you can speak to your School Nurse confidentially or another adult you trust. There are organisations and professionals who are here to support you.
- URPotential in Blackpool offer LGBT+ Support For Children, Young People & Families. They have a range of groups for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans children, young people and adults, a group for family members, and also offer 1 to 1 support. At groups you can meet other people with shared interests, get advice, information, and guidance. Access opportunities to get involved in a range of social, political, educational and fun activities.
Please access the link below for contact details and further information on support groups: