About Your Sexual Orientation
Coming Out to Yourself
To “come out” means to accept that you are LGBT+, and then tell others that you are LGBT+. Before coming out to others, a big step is coming out to yourself.
You might be thinking:
- I am not like that.
- I can’t be like that.
- It is wrong.
- I am wrong.
- It is against what God wants.
- I can’t be gay because I’m a manly man.
- I can’t be a lesbian because I like make-up and feminine clothes.
- Can I really fancy men and women?
- I don’t fit any of the stereotypes.
- I am scared.
These are all natural things to think, and many LGBT+ people have these worries at first. Some of these concerns are because, in our society, it is assumed all people are straight until told otherwise, so many LGBT+ people assume they are also straight until they realise otherwise. Some of the concerns are because the media often portrays LGBT+ people in a certain way, so some people think that to be LGBT+ you have to act, look and dress a certain way – you do not!
But try not to worry and give yourself some time. Try getting to know more about the LGBT+ community and learn about others who feel the same way you do by checking out our other webpages. But know that attraction to the same gender is completely usual. It is not unusual or weird; people have loved and been attracted to others of the same gender since forever.
Labelling Your Identity
If you are attracted to the same gender, you might identify as lesbian or gay. If you are attracted to your own gender and other genders, you might identify as bisexual or pansexual. You cannot choose how you feel about other people, but you can choose how to label your sexuality, or if you prefer, you do not have to label it at all. There are lots of LGBT+ identities and the list continues to grow – you can explore some of them here.
For many people, their sexuality changes as they get older along with everything else that changes as you get older, so if your feelings change that would be completely usual. If this does happen, you can always choose to label your sexuality in a different way in the future. How you choose to describe your sexuality today does not have to be fixed; you can change the label you assign yourself whenever you wish to.
Coming Out to Others
Coming out to others can feel like sharing your biggest secret. It can be worrying or scary not knowing if the person you tell will understand, keep it private and whether your relationship with that person will change. But coming out can also be liberating and feel as though a large weight has been lifted from your shoulders.
We hope the information we have brought together here will help and support LGBT+ young people in their journey.