Sexual orientation is about whom you are attracted to romantically, emotionally and sexually. Sexual orientation includes gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual and asexual and many other terminologies.

Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity 

Sexual orientation is different from gender identity. Gender identity is who you are- male, female gender, queer, and so on- not whom you are attracted to. So being transgender is not the same as being gay, lesbian or bisexual. In simple terms:

Gender identity is about who you are.

Sexual orientation is about who you want to be with.

Sexual Orientation Identities

  • Straight or heterosexual: People attracted to a different gender may identify themselves as heterosexual.
  • Homosexual/ Gay/ Lesbian: These people are attracted to the same gender.
  • Bisexual: People who are attracted to two genders may call themselves bisexual.
  • Pansexual: These people are attracted to different genders (male, female, intersex, genderqueer, transgender and so on)
  • Queer/ Questioning: People unsure about their sexual orientation may call themselves queer or questioning.
  • Asexual: People who do not experience any sexual attraction to anyone often identify as asexual.
  • Demisexual: Some people who are sexually attracted only to people they know well or are in a relationship with may identify as demisexual.

Some people may not like the idea of labels at all. Some feel that these labels do not describe them accurately. It is all up to you how you want to label yourself.

Want to know someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity and pronouns? Ask them.

Reminder: Your sexual orientation and gender identity may remain the same or can change throughout your life. This is completely normal, and it is not a phase!

What If I Am Unsure About My Gender And Sexuality?

Sexual orientation for teens is a big deal. It is okay for many teens and even older people to be confused about their sexual orientation. Some people take years or even a lifetime to understand their sexual orientation.

You do not have to decide on a label; even if you do, it is okay if you feel differently in the future than what you feel now.

What Is Coming Out? 

Coming out refers to the process when people who identify as LGBTQ teens work to accept their gender and sexuality and share it openly with other people

Coming out is a courageous thing to do, especially in a conservative society like ours. There is no correct way to come out. While it can feel better to be open about your sexual orientation, there are many factors to consider while coming out.

  • Coming out is a process. The first thing is to accept it yourself. Next, you might choose to tell people close to you, like friends, family and other people in your community. You might choose to tell some people and not others.
  • Coming out is not a one-time thing; it is a constant process. Everyone who identifies as an LGBTQ+ person meets someone new and might decide to come out to them.
  • It depends on the situation. It may be freeing and bring you closer to the people you love. But it can also be stressful and risky in other cases.

Coming out has many benefits and risks. It could put you in physical danger or risk of losing emotional or financial support from your family.