Sexual Health D&G

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LGBT

What is LGBT?

The acronym LGBT has been in use since 1990’s and stands for: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual and Transgender. Lots of people fancy people of the same sex as them, being attracted to someone of the same sex is common, normal and makes you who you are. Some may be sure about how they feel, and others may take more time to be sure of their sexual orientation. Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong age to realise you are lesbian, gay or bisexual. Sexual orientation does not need to be fixed forever – for some people it will be, and for others it will be fluid and it might change over time. 
The terms are complex and the following information is only a starting point:

Lesbian

Is the word used to describe a girl or a woman who is romantically and sexually attracted to other girls or women.

Some people know from a young age that they are lesbian, but some people are not sure until they get older and start thinking about relationships. Some girls can also realise that they prefer girls/women even though they have previously had relationships with boys/men. Being attracted to someone of the same sex is completely normal. It is not at all unusual to feel attracted to someone of the same sex and many people experience crushes or very close friendships with someone of the same sex as they are growing up.

Further Information

See our ‘lesbian and bisexual women’s wellbeing’ area of our website

Gay

Is the word used to describe a boy or a man who is romantically and sexually attracted to other boys or men and it can sometimes be used to describe lesbian women or girls.

Some people know from a young age that they are gay, but some people are not sure until they get older and start thinking about relationships. Some boys/men can also realise that they prefer boys/men even though they have previously had relationships with girls/women. Being attracted to someone of the same sex is completely normal. It is not at all unusual to feel attracted to someone of the same sex and many people experience crushes or very close friendships with someone of the same sex as they are growing up. For lots of people this does mean that they are gay.

Further Information

See our ‘gay & bisexual men’s wellbeing’ area of our website

Bisexual

Is the word used to describe a person who is romantically and sexually attracted to people of more than one gender. It does not mean that you equally have to like girls/women or boys/men or become romantically or sexually involved with both. You may feel attracted to girls or boys at different times in your life.

Further Information

see our wellbeing sections for:
» gay & bisexual men.
» lesbian and bisexual women.

Transgender

Is a term used to describe someone who does not conform to society’s view of being a male or female, the sex which they were assigned at birth.

See our section on understanding Transgender.

Further Information for all LGBT people

Information for Young LGBT People
https://www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/

Information for All LGBT People
https://www.stonewallscotland.org.uk/

Information for LGBT people in later in life
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/relationships-family/lgbt/