Following are some answers to frequently asked questions about sexuality to help you get to grips with your sexual orientation
- I'm a 15 year old guy and I'm confused about whether I'm straight or gay. I find girls a turn-on but I also sometimes feel aroused when I think about guys. How do I know if I'm gay or not?
- My brother told me it's wrong to be gay. Is this right?
- I'm a 16 year old girl and I've been seeing a girl for about 6 months. I've decided to bite the bullet and tell my parents I'm a lesbian. I'm nervous! How should I do it?
The only person who can decide if you are gay or not is you. Be patient and pay attention to your feelings - eventually they'll show you where you stand. The important thing is that you are happy with yourself, comfortable with your sexuality and respectful of other peoples’ choices.
No. Being gay or bi-sexual is not wrong or unnatural, but simply part of a whole range of sexual lifestyles that people find themselves drawn to. Sadly there is still a lot of homophobia in the world and some people make life difficult for people who are gay. Make sure you stop and think about how you would feel if someone didn't like you because of the people you loved and were attracted to. It's important that you are respectful of other people's choices and allow them to be open about their attractions to the same sex.
When you decide to tell your parents, you should probably do it at home somewhere comfortable where you can have privacy. Be prepared and think about some of the questions they may ask you, and make sure you have enough time to talk to them about it. Some people have found that when family members have been given the news that they are gay, some of them may react badly initially. Generally they just need some time to get used to the idea. That said, others are accepting of the news straight away. Try to have some support, such as a trusted friend, that you can turn to afterwards in case some of your family members have a bad initial reaction. If you need help before or after you've told them, then check out our Helplines page.