Questioning Your Sexual Identity?
First of all, there is nothing wrong with you if you are questioning your sexuality. You are not alone. It is perfectly normal to question your sexuality, particularly when you are a teenager. Sexual orientation refers to a person’s emotional and sexual attraction, which may be to people of the same sex or the opposite sex or to both. Sometimes people are attracted to another person regardless of their sex, and think of themselves as pansexual. These are all normal and natural feelings. Usually thinking about your sexuality is part of figuring out who you are, and it is perfectly okay if you are not sure right now.
It can be hard to have these feelings and even harder to talk about them with people in your life. There are actually many people in your community and school who share these experiences.
One thing you could do is to see if your school has a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). These are safe places for people to go who have these feelings. GSA’s are made up of youth who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning or straight, as well as at least one teacher who is an ally (safe person).
There is also a place called the Youth Project, for youth under age 25, living anywhere in Nova Scotia, who are looking for a safe place to talk and socialize. They can meet with you in your community, if that works better for you. There are people there who understand and will be able to support you and will keep your information confidential. For more information, please visit their website.
I'm worried. I am not sure about my gender identity.
You are not alone. There are lots of teens who think that they are in the wrong body. How they think of themselves, as male or female, does not fit with their body parts. This is often referred to as being transgender. This can happen when people have a gender (sense of themselves as male or female or somewhere in between) that is different than their sex (physical body parts they are born with). Often, teens will start thinking about their gender when their body starts changing during puberty. It could happen before or after that as well. This can cause a great deal of distress and confusion especially when there seems to be lots of expectations from society about how to behave, depending on your sex. There are many gender identities and ways to express yourself that are normal and may not fit with these so called social rules. They may be less common, but they are still normal and it does not mean there is something wrong with you.
If you are wondering about your gender, it is great to be able to talk to someone about it. And you may not be sure who you can trust. One place you can visit is the Youth Project, a safe place for teens to get support and information, and to meet other people who have a lot of the same feelings.
Another place is the Transgender Health Team at the IWK. They have a social worker and a psychiatrist who have been meeting with youth from all over the Maritimes for the past eight years. You can call Central Referral at 902.464.4110 or toll-free, 1.888.470.5888 and ask to meet with the team. It is a great place for teens and families to talk and get the help they need to feel better.
Check out PrideHealth's; It Gets Better Video. Inspiring and Hopeful.