Sexual Diversity

Sexuality refers to the sexual feelings and attractions we have towards other people. There are many different types of sexuality and it can take a while for people to figure out what is right for them. All are perfectly normal and part of the broad range of human relationships and experiences. A person’s sexuality is a central part of who they are, and can influence their thoughts, feelings and actions.

Useful definitions

Bisexual or bi

People who have sexual and romantic feelings for both men and women and who identify with these feelings. Sometimes people may engage in bisexual behaviours but don't describe or identify themselves as bisexual.

Homosexual

People who have sexual and romantic feelings primarily for people of the same sex as themselves and who identify with those feelings. People who feel this way often identify as being gay or lesbian.

Heterosexual or straight

People who have sexual and romantic feelings primarily for people of the opposite sex and who identify with these feelings.

Homophobia

The misunderstanding, fear or ignorance of people with different sexual orientations. Verbal abuse, such as calling someone a 'poofter' or a 'faggot' is an example of homophobia. People can also experience homophobia in non-verbal ways. Some people are afraid of homosexuality because they don't know much about it. If you are experiencing homophobia, it's important to talk to a parent/guardian or trusted friend about it. You can also contact the Freedom Centre (08) 9228 0354, info@freedom.org.au or go to Freedom Centre (external site). For advice and support, you can also contact Living Proud or go to Living Proud (external site)

LGBTIQ

Stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer or Questioning their sexuality or gender. 

Getting to know your sexual identity

Everybody has a sense of their sexuality: this is called your sexual identity. Your sexual identity is about how you see this part of yourself and how you express it to others. Sexual identity is different from sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is about your sexual preferences and who you are attracted to.

Your sexual identity may not match your sexual orientation, for example, you may be a guy who is attracted to other guys but still identify as 'straight'. Working out sexual orientation may be an ongoing process throughout a person’s life. For instance a young person might identify one way at one time then differently in a few years' time.

Homophobia can make some people feel intimidated about identifying as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Someone who 'comes out' to others is disclosing their sexual identity to family, friends, classmates, workmates etc.

If you are feeling confused about your sexual identity or orientation, it's important to talk to someone you trust about it. You can also contact the Freedom Centre (external site) or Living Proud (external site) for advice and support.

There are many different types of sexuality and it can take a while for people to figure out what feels right for them.

Ask a Question!

Ask an anonymous question to a qualified Health Professional.

Read more