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I am Questioning

What is ‘questioning’?

Some people use the letter Q at the end of the acronym LGBTQ to mean ‘queer’, but we use it here to mean ‘questioning’.

Questioning describes the process of exploring your sexuality, gender identity or sexual orientation. It can be a confusing time, and you may be unsure of how you think or feel.

People come in all different shapes, sizes and colours, and behave in many different ways. Some are attracted to people of the opposite sex, while others are attracted to people of the same sex. There is no ‘correct’ way of doing things. When it comes to sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, you should feel able to act in a way that feels natural to you.

You may not know how to describe your gender or sexual orientation, but there’s no need to hurry to categorise yourself. It’s perfectly normal to question your identity, not odd or strange.

I realised that I was gay when I was about 12 years of age and I was in a relationship with one of my best friends. I recognised that I just didn’t have any feelings for her beyond loving her as a friend and this made me question my sexuality. When I accepted that I had feelings for boys and that I was gay I felt I owed it to my ex-girlfriend to tell her and provide her an explanation as to why we had broken up. She was great; she really understood and yet again showed what a brilliant friend she was.  She supported me to ‘come out’ to my other friends who too have been supportive."

My family know that I am gay and I recently found out from my dad that it had in fact took him quite some time to accept this. My mum had accepted it pretty quickly but she had a lot on her plate at the time so it wasn’t really a priority for her. My sister found out and decided to ‘out’ me on Facebook which was far from ideal and did cause some issues for a short time but we are ok now.  I am not entirely sure what my grandparents position is on the issue, we just don’t talk about it. I kept the knowledge of my sexuality on a ‘need to know’ basis as I didn’t see any reason to announce it to the world; it isn’t that big a deal really." - Ryan

Finding support

Some people who are questioning find it helps to talk to others who are going through the same thing. To find out if there is a support group for young people in your area, try looking for information at GP surgeries, sexual health clinics, pharmacies, and youth groups, or try the internet, local papers or the phone book.

Other sources of information for young people who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity include the charity Mermaids and the Gendered Intelligence website.

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