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Sexual Orientation

[ Types of Sexual Orientation ] [ Knowing & Accepting Your Sexual Orientation ] [ Handling Homophobic Reactions & Harassment ] [ The Gay Pride Flag ] [ Support & Resources]

Your sexual orientation is determined by the specific gender you’re romantically, physically, emotionally, and sexually attracted to.

Figuring out your sexual orientation can be confusing. Most people don't know their sexual orientation right away. So don’t worry: it’s completely normal not to be sure, especially when you’re just starting to be sexually active.

Exploration is perfectly fine and helps you discover your true feelings: you might want to date people of the opposite sex or you might decide to date those of the same sex.

The most commonly recognized sexual orientations are heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality.

  • Heterosexuals are people who are sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex. These people are sometimes referred to as being straight.
  • Homosexuals are people who are sexually attracted to people of the same gender. Men who are attracted to men are referred to as gay and women who are attracted to women are referred to as lesbians (though they can also be called “gay”).
  • Bisexuals are people who are sexually attracted to both men and women. Bisexuals can also be known as bi. 
  • Some people don’t like to be called gay, lesbian or bi. They refer to themselves as same-gender loving or they don’t use labels at all.
  • Queer refers to all people who don’t follow sexual or gender norms, including transgender or transsexual individuals. (LGBT may also be used to refer to those within this group and stands for lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender.)

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