Am I gay? - Play Safe
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Heaps of young people ask me if being attracted to someone who is the same sex makes them gay. So I asked Terence Humphries from Twenty10 incorporating GLCS NSW (Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service) to provide some advice.

Over to Terence…

“So, are you gay if you’re attracted to someone of the same sex? The answer is no and yes. Ok, that’s not reassuring at all, is it?

Let’s unpack the words sexuality and sexual attraction and see if that helps. To do this we’ll need the help of the FBI. No, not the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I’m talking about your Feelings, Behaviours and Identity. Get it? FBI.

Let’s start with your Feelings. Who do you have crushes on, check out or want to have sex with? It could be guys, girls, both or neither. All of which is fine.

Next, have a think about your Behaviour. What you’ve actually done sexually with other people. Who have you kissed, held hands or had sex with? Were they guys, girls, both, neither?

The last part of FBI is Identity. It’s basically a word that we use to describe ourselves and let other people know who we are attracted to. Most people are attracted to people of the opposite sex both romantically and sexually. They call this being straight or heterosexual. Not everyone is straight though. Around 11% of school aged young people in Australia are same-sex attracted. Yep, you guessed it. This means they are romantically and sexually attracted to people of the same sex. They might identify as lesbian, gay, bi (short for bisexual), queer or something else.

A lot of people think that your Feelings and Behaviours automatically determine your Identity. Sure that’s true for a lot of people, but not everyone. Katy Perry kissed a girl and liked it, but it didn’t make her gay. Having a crush, kissing or having sex with someone of the same sex doesn’t necessarily make you gay. It doesn’t even make you bi . How YOU Identify is completely up to YOU.

Besides, sexuality is often fluid, meaning it can change over time, and that’s totally normal. Being different is one of the best things about being a person!”

FBI sounds very helpful, thanks Terence. Now guys, this stuff can be pretty intense to have racing through your head. Why not call or webchat to some of the friendly folks at Twenty10Qlife, or Inspire? They won’t judge you and best of all their services are all FREE and totally confidential.  They can answer your questions and no one else will even know you spoke to them.

Want to hear more from Nurse Nettie? Why not subscribe to the Nurse Nettie blog and receive a fortnightly update to your email.

Or you can drop me a line. I’m here to help.