Am I LGBT? in Identity

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Questioning your sexual orientation can be difficult, often because of other peoples' attitudes. But it could make perfect sense of feelings you've had for a long time.

Whether you're straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, there's no reason not to feel confident and proud of who you are.

I keep hearing this word 'sexuality' - what is it?

Sexuality isn't just about sex, it's about your feelings, emotions, attractions and desires and how you express these.

It includes whether we're attracted to women, men or both (our sexual orientation) and what we do sexually.

Having sexual thoughts and feelings is a normal, healthy part of human life. This is true whether you're attracted to men, women or both. Some people aren't much interested in sex at all, and this is normal too.

When will I know if I'm gay or straight or bisexual or transgender?

It takes time to figure out who we are sexually and to understand our gender identity and orientation, it just as takes time to figure out other areas of our lives.

The important thing is to be true to how you feel at the time and to respect yourself and others around you.

So-and-so knows me really well and reckons I'm gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender - am I?

It's true that good friends can sometimes tell us things about ourselves we might not have realised, but you shouldn't be swayed too much by what anyone else says about your sexuality.

Only you know can how you really feel inside.

If I think I am gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender - should I tell people?

We have a guide on coming out as gay, lesbian or bisexual, as well as a guide on how to come out as transgender. There are many different things you should take into consideration when it comes to coming out, but it's entirely your decision. 

I had a sex dream about someone who's the same sex as me - what does it mean?

Having one dream about a same-sex mate probably doesn't mean you're gay or lesbian.

On the other hand, if your sexual dreams are always about members of your own sex, and you enjoy similar fantasies and daydreams, they could be telling you something.

I suddenly thought about someone my own sex while I was masturbating - what does it mean?

For lots of us, sexuality isn't as simple as being gay or lesbian or straight. Lots of people have fantasies involving people the same sex as them, even if they wouldn't want to actually have sex with them.

Meanwhile, if your sexual fantasies are usually about people of your own sex and have been for a while, it's a pretty strong indication you're attracted to people the same sex as you.

Me and my mate started getting off with each other - am I gay/lesbian?

Having a sexual experience with someone the same sex as you does not make you gay or lesbian.

Three things here:

1. It's normal to feel physically attracted sometimes to people we're close to.

2. Hormones surge during puberty

3. Lots of people end up experimenting sexually with their same-sex mates.

In answer to the question, only time will tell. You might become life-long lovers, or one or both of you both might feel completely different about each other as time passes. You might decide to pursue other same sex relationships or you might not.

In the meantime, you should know that what happened is a fairly normal part of growing up and try not to stress about it.

What if I feel I'm really a different sex and am in the wrong body?

The term 'transgender' describes a range of people whose feelings about their gender identity (who they feel they are) differ from the assumptions made about them when they were born.

Transgender people can be attracted to men, women, both or neither, regardless of their sex at birth or the gender they choose to live as.

Some transgender people choose to live as their birth sex, some as the gender they feel they really are. Others may decide to be open about being transgender with some people but not with everyone.

Find out more about gender identity

More info

Check out the LGBT Youth Scotland website.

You can also get advice via mobile phone from LGBT Youth Scotland by texting 'info' and where you are in Scotland to 0778 148 17 88.