LGBTQ is the a commonly-used abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning.
- Straight - being ‘straight’ (or heterosexual) is when you are attracted to the opposite sex, i.e. a man being attracted to a woman, or vice versa
- Gay and lesbian - being ‘gay’ (or homosexual) means being attracted to people who are the same sex as yourself. The word "lesbian" is usually exclusively used for gay women, whereas the word "gay" can apply to both men or women
- Bi - bisexuality is when you are attracted to both males and females, and not exclusively to just one sex
- Transgender - is when you have changed your gender through gender reassignment surgery and become the opposite sex
- Questioning - is a reference to the period when you may not be entirely sure whether you are LGBT. During this time it is extremely important for you to have someone to talk to who you know you can trust, and who can give you support and advice
Being any of the above is completely normal. It's common for many young people to be unsure about their sexual preference. You don't have to make any rush decision. Explore your feelings and if you feel comfortable talking to someone you can trust about them, then it is advisable to do so. If you are unable to talk to your family or friends about your sexuality, then an alternative would be to seek confidential advice from a professional, such as one of our youth workers.