Sexuality & Gender

Sexual Orientation

Some people are attracted to people of the opposite sex, some to the same sex, and some to both. Lots of young people find themselves feeling confused about who they are attracted to.

Being lesbian, gay or bisexual isn’t a choice, it’s the way someone feels inside and is natural to that person. It may take a while for you to work out your own feelings.

For some young people coming to terms with the fact that they might be attracted to someone of the same sex can be very difficult. If you feel like this, remember that there are plenty of people who can help. There are some services and projects especially for young people who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual or who are exploring their sexuality. You can search for them using our directory at the bottom of the page.

Transgender

Trans is an umbrella term for those who feel that their assigned sex at birth (male or female) does not match or sit easily with how they feel, or their self identified gender identity. For example, someone might be born male but feels they are actually female.

It encompasses transsexuals, transgendered people and cross dressers, or anyone who challenges gender norms.

It may be that a trans person feels more the ‘opposite’ sex.  They might choose to change their bodies hormonally and/or surgically in order to align their body with their mind, their outside appearance with their internal feelings.

Cross dressers may dress to express the more masculine or feminine side of themselves, or simply because they find those clothes more comfortable.

Gender variant or gender queer people may identify as outside of or beyond the gender binary (being either ‘male’ or ‘female’). Expressing gender variance often challenges what we think of as gender norms.

For some young people, coming to terms with the fact that they might be trans or gender variant can be very difficult. If you feel like this, remember that there are plenty of people who can help. They can talk things through with you and help you to explore and come to terms with the way you feel.

You can search for local organisations using the search directory (see above), or the following national organisation below has a very useful website for trans young people including advice for parents.

Gendered Intelligence

This organisation runs projects where young trans people can meet one another and talk about what it’s been like for them.

At the sessions, young trans people can explore their gender identity, ask questions and address their needs. The group also provides an opportunity for young trans people to tell their stories and to gain support from one another. They run various activities in a safe space, there is an annual camping trip, and opportunities to make friends!

They currently meet the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 6-8pm and the last Saturday of the month, 2-5pm in London. Sometimes the location varies depending on the event.  We encourage young people from across the UK to come along and have travel bursaries available for those that need them to pay for your travel.

Gendered Intelligence also have a mentor scheme and work one to one with a young trans person who is in education as well as offer training to teachers and support parents and family members too.

Gendered intelligence

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