Sexual Orientation

What a world this would be if we were all exactly the same… boring! It’s important that we not just accept diversity, but that we celebrate it. Some people are considered heterosexual, meaning they are attracted to the opposite gender. Some people are not heterosexual, and that is totally ok. Some guys only like other guys, and some girls are only into other girls. There are people who like people from all genders. You may have seen the abbreviation LGBTTQ before. Let’s break it down:

L – Lesbian: a female homosexual (girl who is attracted to other girls).

G – Gay: can refer to a male homosexual (guy who is attracted to other guys); in the past is meant all homosexuals.

B – Bisexual: someone who is attracted to people of any gender.

T – Transgender: this term includes transsexuals, cross-dressers, drag queens and drag kings, gender outlaws, and all those whose gender roles are ambiguous. This identification challenges tradition notions of sexuality and gender. Transgender people may be heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual.

T – Transsexual: people who recognize that their sexual identity conflicts in a fundamental way with the biological sex into which they were born. A person who has taken measures (e.g. surgery or hormone therapy), or intends to change their physical sex.

T – Two Spirited: this is an Aboriginal term used to describe people who embody both the male and female spirit. Two-spirit people were highly valued in traditional Aboriginal culture because they brought harmony and balance and could sit in both the male and female camps. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Aboriginal people are reclaiming this term.

Q – Queer: Originally a derogatory label used to refer to lesbian and gay people or to intimidate or offend homosexuals. Recently, this term has been reclaimed by some lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people as an inclusive and positive way to identify all people targeted by heterosexism and homophobia.

Thanks to our friends at the Rainbow Resource Centre in Winnipeg for the above definitions. These people are super cool, and we recommended you check out their site: http://www.rainbowresourcecentre.org/

Are you thinking about where you fit in to all of this? That’s normal. Lots of youth think about their sexuality. Maybe you are worried about what people may think if you shared how you feel. Check out this really cool page about understanding your sexual identity: http://teenhealthsource.com/sgd/understanding-sexual-identity-gender/

Do you want to share the truth about your sexual identity? Check out this link about discussing your sexual orientation: http://teenhealthsource.com/sgd/sexuality-coming-out/