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Gender and sexuality

You might define your sexuality in a variety of ways. As part of growing up, you will spend time exploring your identity and developing a sense of who you are. Whilst this can include things like what you want to do after school as a career or what hobbies you may have, this also includes thinking about who you are attracted to (your sexual orientation), how you feel about your gender (your gender identity), and the different ways you can express this.

Sexuality and sexual orientation are about who you're physically and emotionally attracted to. Everyone is different, and sometimes understanding your sexuality can be confusing. There are lots of types of sexuality and it's okay if you don’t fit into just one. For some people, their sexuality is fluid and can change over time.


Video: Learning Our LGBTs! | Queer Kid Stuff

More information about gender and sexuality

Some common terms used to describe sexuality

  • Aromatic – not feeling romantically attracted to anyone

  • Asexual – not feeling sexually attracted to anyone

  • Bicurious – people who don’t see themselves as either heterosexual or homosexual, but may also sometimes be curious about the gender they're not normally attracted to

  • Bisexual (or ‘bi’) - feeling emotionally and physically attracted to both sexes

  • Crossed orientation (or mixed orientation) - people who experience a romantic or emotional attraction that is different from their sexual attraction - for example, someone may feel emotionally attracted to girls but sexually attracted to boys

  • Demisexual - someone who doesn’t have any sexual attraction unless they have a strong emotional connection with someone first

  • Gay/lesbian/homosexual - feeling emotionally and physically attracted to people of the same sex

  • Heteroflexible - people who think of themselves as heterosexual but may also sometimes be attracted to people from the same sex - for example, a heteroflexible boy would mostly be attracted to girls but may occasionally be drawn to other boys when the situation feels right

  • Homoflexible - people who think of themselves as homosexual, but may sometimes be attracted to someone of the opposite sex, if it feels right - for example, a homoflexible girl might identify as a lesbian but might sometimes find boys attractive too

  • Pansexual - feeling emotionally and physically attracted to people of any gender or sexual orientation, which includes transgender and non-binary people

  • Polysexual - someone who is emotionally and physically attracted to some genders, but not all

  • Queer - some people use this as an insult, but other LGBTQ+ people will use it to describe not fitting into other sexualities or categories

  • Questioning - feeling unsure about your sexual orientation

  • Straight/heterosexual - feeling emotionally and physically attracted to people of the opposite sex.

Support resources

Self-help materials

CAMHS Resources - This site was created for young people, carers and professionals to pool together lots of helpful resources from across the internet that are available to help support mental health and well-being.

Centre for Clinical Interventions - Self-help resources for mental health problems.

Get Self Help - This website provides CBT self-help and therapy resources, including worksheets and information sheets and self-help mp3s.

onyourmindglos - Helpful guides about emotional health.

Useful apps

  • Talkspace is an online therapy app which provides counselling to people experiencing a vast range of emotional distress: depression, anxiety, relationship issues, eating disorders etc.

Useful books

  • The Big Book of Blob Trees by Pip Wilson


Visit the Young Minds website

Young Minds are a UK charity fighting for children and young people's mental health.

The Young Minds website has lots of really useful information about young people's mental health. Watch videos of real life stories, read blog posts from young people, learn more about mental health and find resources and support.

Explore the Young Minds sexuality and mental health webpage (opens in new window) to learn more about gender and sexuality and find support and resources.

Young Minds logo

Further information

Much of the content on this website has been put together using resources sourced from a range of different charities and organisations.

Click on the logos below to go to each organisations website to explore more about mental health. 

Kooth logo Youth Access logo
Togetherall logo Mind logo
Childline logo Papyrus logo
The Mix logo Samaritans logo