Sexuality and sexual orientation is about who you're physically and emotionally attracted to. Everyone is different, and sometimes understanding your sexuality can be confusing.

What does LGBTQ+ mean?

LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and more. Even though people refer to them together, gender identity isn’t the same as sexuality.

Sexuality is often used to describe sexual and romantic attraction. But these aren’t always the same:

  • Sexual attraction is how physically attracted to someone you are, and includes whether you would like to have sex with them.
  • Romantic attraction is how much you’re emotionally attracted to someone.

You might feel both romantic and sexual attraction to the same people or these might be different. 

It's natural to be confused about your sexuality or need time to work out who you are. Some people know who they’re attracted to from a really young age. For other people, it’s not so simple and can take a while to work out.

However you’re feeling about your sexuality, you can talk to us or express yourself through our Art box.

5 things to remember about your sexuality:

  1. Sexuality isn’t a choice.
  2. It takes different people different amounts of time to understand their sexuality.
  3. 'Coming out' is different for everyone, but it can get easier as you start to tell more people.
  4. There are lots of different types of sexuality.
  5. Sexuality can change over time - this is OK.

Questioning your sexuality

It's natural to be confused about your sexuality or to need time to work out who you are. It's okay not to be sure.

Some people know who they’re attracted to from a really young age. For other people it’s not so simple and can take a while to work out.

If you’re not sure about your sexuality, you might:

  • not be sure what it means if you ‘like’ someone
  • be scared about how other people will react
  • worry about what it means for your community or religion
  • want to come out and tell people
  • try to find a sexuality that ‘fits’ how you feel.

It might take some time to work out what your sexual orientation is. Remember there's no such thing as normal. And you don't have to feel pressured or rushed to give yourself a label.

However you’re feeling about your sexuality, we’re here to support you.

Watch: LGBTQ+ Stereotypes

Sexuality Definitions

There are lots of types of sexuality and its okay if you don’t fit into just one. For some people their sexuality is fluid and can change over time.

Some common terms used to describe sexuality are:

Sex, relationships and  dating

Relationships can be different to everyone, but the things that make up healthy relationships are the same no matter what your sexuality or gender identity is.

Coming out

Coming out is when you tell someone else about your sexuality. It can help people to feel less isolated and more able to cope with their feelings. But it can also feel risky or unsafe. Read our tips on how to come out.

The first step to coming out is being able to admit to yourself what your sexuality is. LGBTQ+ people usually don’t come out just once but will come out lots of times to lots of different people.

Watch: Ben Hunte talks about coming out

Bullying and discrimination

If someone treats you unfairly or badly because of you identify as LGBTQ+ then that’s discrimination.

Being discriminated against or bullied can have a big effect on you. It can make you feel lonely, anxious or like you’re different. It’s never okay to be bullied or discriminated against and if it happens it’s not your fault.