Overview

This section explores the topics of sexuality and discusses bisexual, lesbian and gay relationships. Check out the videos, stories and factsheet.

Topic Videos

Kaki King talks about music and mental health

A 2013 Music Feedback Rockumentaries.
Steph sat down with Kaki King http://www.kakiking.com/, Guitarist/Composer from Atlanta Georgia to talk about mental health. Watch to hear about Kaki's thoughts on Coming Out, the importance of role models, music as a language of emotion and society's focus on consumption.

  • Author: Music Feedback
  • Upload Date: 2013-10-07

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Stories on this Topic

Featured Story (image)

LGBTI Young People of Australia - it gets better

As a LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersexed) young person, have you ever had such a hard day, or week, or year that you thought things couldn't possibly look up? Ever been in a hole and rather than wanting to climb out, you wanted someone to shovel the dirt in?

The 'It Gets Better' Project was created to show young LGBTI people the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach, if they can make it through their teenage years. The project is focused on reminding young people that things can and will get better. I really hope that after seeing some of the videos on the website, you'll feel less alone and more able to push through and keep going! Check out the full blog here

  • Author: TINO Crew
  • Upload Date: 2011-12-15

Created by the YEP Crew

Factsheet

Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

Types of Sexuality

There are a number of different types of sexuality - all of them are OK. This factsheets gives an overview of different types of sexuality.

Bisexual

What does it mean to be 'bisexual'

People (both men and women) usually describe themselves as bisexual when they find that they are physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to both men and women.

types of sexualityThere are bisexual people in every country, culture and society. Many people report that they have bisexual feelings or experiences, but do not identify themselves as bisexual ('Bi'). Sometimes it is hard for people to stand up as bisexual because their society does not accept it. Other times people are just happy to explore their sexuality, but identify themselves as mainly heterosexual ('straight'), homosexual ('gay' or 'lesbian'), or have no label at all.

Being bisexual often causes feelings of isolation for some young men and women because they feel a lot of pressure to be heterosexual, or to be homosexual. Many people in society do not approve of bisexuality, and this often makes people scared to show their sexuality.

Remember, there is nothing 'wrong' with feeling, or being, bisexual. It is just a form of sexuality that unfortunately, many other people find hard to understand.

Why are some people bisexual?

There is no real explanation of why some people are bisexual, and some are not. Some researchers suggest that we are born with our sexual orientation. Others suggest that people become bisexual because of some childhood experiences. The main thing to remember is that being 'Bi' is not a disease or illness to be cured or fixed. It is part of the broad spectrum of human sexuality.

How do I know if I'm bisexual?

There is no easy answer to this question. You can't fill in a questionnaire or do a test that will give you a definite answer. You might be bisexual if you recognise that you have feelings of attraction for women and men at the same time, but this does not necessarily have to be at the same time or intensity. What is important is that you don't deny your feelings and that you take time, at your own pace, to explore your sexuality and what being bisexual might mean to you.

It is also important to remember that you are definitely not alone, and you don't have to deal with your questions or problems alone. Try talking to one of the confidential services listed below if you are feeling concerned. And if someone tells you that bisexuals are really confused, or that bisexuals do not exist, or that they can't help you, look for someone else to talk to who does understand and care.

How do I know if someone else is bisexual?

The short answer is that you probably won't know until someone tells you - you can't tell whether a man or woman or a transgendered person is bisexual just by looking at them. Bisexual people come in all shapes and sizes. You cannot tell a bisexual person by the gender of their partner or the friends they keep. It is important to remember that if you identify as bisexual, how you look is up to you, just the same as if you are heterosexual, gay or lesbian. How you dress and how you behave is about your personal identity, not a stereotype.

Bisexual relationships

For some, bisexual relationships can be more complicated than straight, gay or lesbian relationships. However, regardless of your sexuality, it is important to be open and honest with your partner/s, about feelings of attraction to other people. Like everyone else, bisexual people fall in love and form committed relationships. These may be with a man, a woman, a transgendered person, or with more than one person. There are no rules that bisexual people follow in relationships- everyone is free to make them up for themselves.

Being Gay

What does it mean to be 'gay'

types of sexualityMen usually describe themselves as homosexual, or 'gay', when they find that they are physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to other men.

It is not uncommon for men to have had gay experiences and feelings as part of exploring their sexuality. However, for men who go on to identify as gay, there is a strong physical and emotional attraction to men that they don't usually feel for women.

This may cause feelings of isolation for young men because they feel a lot of pressure to be heterosexual, or 'straight'. Some people in society do not approve of homosexuality, and this may make people scared to show their sexuality.

There are gay men in every culture and in every country. Remember, there is nothing wrong with feeling or being gay. It is just a form of sexuality that unfortunately, some people find hard to understand.

Why are some men gay?

There is no real explanation of why some men are gay and some are not. It may be a result of genetic influences or because of social experiences or an interaction of the two. Some people recognise their attractions at an early age while others don't develop attractions until well into adulthood. For most young people however they begin to develop gay feelings and attractions during teenage years. The main thing to remember is that being gay is not a disease to be 'cured' or 'fixed'. It is part of the broad spectrum of human sexuality.

How do I know if I'm gay?

There is also no easy answer to this question. You can't fill in a questionnaire or do a test that will give you a definite answer. What is important is that you explore your sexuality in a way that makes you feel the most comfortable and safe and allow yourself time to understand what being gay might mean to you. It is also important to remember you don't have to deal with your questions or problems alone. Try talking to one of the confidential services listed below if you are feeling concerned.

How do I know if someone else is gay?

The short answer is that you probably won't know until someone tells you. Gay men come in all shapes and sizes. It is important that you don't judge others based on stereotypes. If you identify as gay, how you look is up to you, just the same as if you are heterosexual. How you dress and how you behave is about your personal identity, not a stereotype.

Gay relationships

In many respects, they are no different from heterosexual relationships. Like everyone else, gay men fall in love and form committed relationships. Within these relationships there are both good times and bad. There are no rules that gay relationships follow - everyone is free to make them up for themselves and how a relationship will end up depends on how the two people feel about each other not their sexual orientation.

Being Lesbian

What does it mean to be 'lesbian'?

Types of sexualityWomen usually describe themselves as homosexual, or 'lesbian', when they find that they are physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to other women.

It is not uncommon for women to have had experiences and feelings with other women as part of exploring their sexuality. However, for women who go on to identify as lesbian, there is a usually a strong physical and emotional attraction to women that they don't usually feel for men.

There are lesbians in every culture and in every country. Remember, there is nothing 'wrong' with feeling, or being lesbian. It is just a form of sexuality that unfortunately, some people find hard to understand.

Why are some women lesbians?

There is no real explanation of why some women are lesbian, and some are not. It may be a result of genetic influences or because of social experiences or an interaction of the two. Some people recognise their attractions at an early age while others don't develop attractions until they are well into adulthood. For most young people, however, they begin to develop feelings and attractions to other women during teenage years. The main thing to remember is that being gay is not a disease to be 'cured' or 'fixed'. It is part of the broad spectrum of human sexuality.

How do I know if I'm lesbian?

There is no easy answer to this question. You can't fill in a questionnaire or do a test that will give you a definite answer. What is important is you explore your feelings and attractions in your own time, and at a pace that makes you feel safe and comfortable. It is also important to remember you don't have to deal with your questions or problems by yourself. Try talking to one of the confidential services listed below if you are feeling concerned.

How do I know if someone else is a lesbian?

You have probably met lesbians without even knowing it. Basically, you won't know until someone tells you. Lesbian women come in all shapes and sizes. It is important to remember that if you identify as lesbian, how you look is up to you, just the same as if you are heterosexual. How you dress and how you behave is about your personal identity, not a stereotype.

Lesbian relationships

In many respects they are not different from heterosexual relationships. Like everyone else, lesbian women fall in love and form committed relationships. Within these relationships there are both good times and bad. There are no rules that lesbian relationships follow - everyone is free to make them up for themselves and how a relationship will end up depends on how the two people feel about each other not their sexual orientation.

Further information

types of sexualityCall the Australian Bisexual Network on (07) 3857 2500 or toll free on 1800 653 223 (outside Brisbane).

Call the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service in your state or territory:

ACT
Gay and Lesbian Telephone Help Referral and Outreach Bureau (THROB) - 02 6247 2726

QLD
Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association
(07) 3252 2997 (7-10pm)
Toll free (rural areas): 1800 184 527

SA
Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service
(08) 8422 8400 (Mon- Fri 7-10pm, Sat 2-5pm & 7-10pm)
Toll free (rural areas): 1800 182 233

NSW
Gay and Lesbian Line (02) 8594 9596
(5.30pm-10.30pm daily)
Toll free (rural areas): 1800 184 527

VIC
Gay and Lesbian Switchboard (03) 98278544
(6-10pm daily, Wed 2-10pm)
Toll free (rural areas): 1800 184 527

WA
Youthline (08) 9486 9855 (Tuesdays 1-4pm)

TAS
Gay and Lesbian Switchboard - 1800 184 527

These services are anonymous, and calls to a 1800 number do not appear on a phone bill. You can chat to someone about your feelings and they can answer many of your questions. They can also tell you about support groups and social functions.

Check the Internet for bisexual topics. Many groups have web sites and can provide you with some useful information.
Pick up a gay and lesbian newspaper. Every state has gay and lesbian newspapers that will tell you about what's on and how to access support and social groups for bisexuals. There are also national magazines available, some of which you can subscribe to.
Remember to talk to someone you trust. One of the best ways to deal with some of your issues is to talk them through, especially with someone who you know will understand you.

Thanks to Family Planning NSW for preparing this factsheet.

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