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Sexual Identity

Sexuality is a natural and healthy part of who we are and it is made up of many different things. One of these things is about our gender and how we feel about being male, female or possibly neither of these. Another is about our sexual orientation or who we fancy.

Each of us feels differently about our sexuality, and we may express it in different ways. It's important to treat each other how we would like to be treated.

We all find different people attractive, and this applies to your children too.

Most people start to feel more definite about who they are attracted to from puberty on wards in to their early teens.

It is normal for young people to fancy people of the opposite sex, the same sex, or both, or to  be unsure and questioning who they fancy. This is called sexual orientation. Some people from an early age are very sure of their sexual orientation, but it's not unusual for someone to be less sure, and it can change over time too.

These are some of the words used to describe sexual orientation:

  • Straight: describes someone who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of the opposite gender (also called heterosexual)
  • Gay: describes someone who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of the same gender. Some women prefer to call themselves gay women rather than lesbian, although the word gay is most often used about men 
  • Lesbian: describes a woman who is emotionally and sexually attracted to other women
  • Bisexual: describes someone who is emotionally and sexually attracted to both women and men.  


Young people from LGBT Youth  share their thoughts and experiences of life before they came out:


All children want love and acceptance from their parents and, for many young people coming out about being LGB or T, they fear rejection from their parents. 

Many parents we’ve worked with have felt very positive about their child coming out and some have found it difficult. For the latter, LGBT Youth have some useful.

Scotland has come a long way in terms of Equality for LBGT people but homophobia and transphobia has not disappeared and the impact of this can be seen in the poorer mental health experiences of young LGBT people, compared with their non-LGBT peers. School is still a place where many young LGBT people do not feel respected.


This film clip by LGBT Youth explains: