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Being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is just as normal – and wonderful – as being straight. Are you wondering if you’re LGBTQ+?

  • Maybe you’re a guy who’s noticing how gorgeous some male celebrities are – you’re not interested in the female celebrities your friends are always talking about.
  • Maybe you’re a girl who’s got a huge crush on one of your female teachers.
  • Or, are you a guy or a girl who’s feeling attracted to both your male and your female friends?
  • Maybe you’ve always felt different from your friends, and you’ve just realised that the word ‘gay’ might fit how you feel.
  • Maybe you’ve always known you were gay, and you’ve been feeling alone. Now you’re looking to meet other young people who are like you.

It’s great that you’re starting to understand your own feelings, that’s the most important thing. Take your time, there’s no need for you to be under any pressure to make decisions about this.

Coming out: This is the process of understanding your own feelings about who you’re attracted to. For some young people coming out can be confusing at first. For others, you can be sure of your own feelings, but nervous about being different.

Sexual orientation: This is who we feel attracted to, whether it’s people of the same sex, another sex, or both.

Sexual identity: The group or community we feel part of, based on our sexual orientation, either gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual.

Bisexual: Someone who is attracted to people of the same gender and also to people of other genders.

Gay:  Someone who is emotionally and sexually attracted to people of the same gender. Gay is usually used to refer to males and lesbian to refer to females, but use whatever feels right for you.

Lesbian:  A female who is emotionally and sexually attracted to other girls/women.

Heterosexual/Straight: A person who is attracted to someone of another gender.

Note: Being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is different from being transgender. Being gay, lesbian or bisexual is about who we’re attracted to. Being transgender is about how we feel about our own gender (being male or female).

Transgender: A term describing a person’s gender identity that does not match their assigned sex at birth. This word is also used as an umbrella term to describe some groups of people who transcend conventional expectations of gender identity or expression.

What’s it like to be LGBT+?

In recent years, Ireland has changed a lot. There’s now a lot more people who are openly LGBT+ who are living happy and fulfilled lives all around Ireland. Some live in long-term relationships with their partners. Others are bringing up children in families that are very like the majority of Irish families. Irish human rights laws mean that LGBT+ people now have the right to equality and cannot be discriminated against. There are more and more services and groups created by and for LGBT+ people – everything from sports groups to religious groups. Each year, on different weekends during the summer, parades and parties are held all around Ireland to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride.