Gay, lesbian, bisexual?

organisations thatYou may find yourself being attracted to people of the same sex as you, or people of both sexes. Don’t panic – it’s ok!

Whilst there is still prejudice in society towards people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual, there is also a lot of acceptance and tolerance. However it can still be difficult to find information, or someone to talk to about how you feel without worrying that they are going to ‘judge’ you in some way. If you are gay, lesbian or bisexual, or if you are unsure whether you are or not, it may take time to come to terms with. You’ll find advice at youngstonewall.org.uk about telling people when you’re ready to do this, or fflag.org.uk which is a support organisation for families. For real life stories about coming out, look at rucomingout.com.

MESMAC work with men and women who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity. They run Queer Club – (York LGB&T Youth Group) – a social group for 14–25 year olds running fortnightly, and also Queer Women – a social group for gay women. They also publish a coming out guide, ‘Thinking Clear’. Ring for a copy or pick one up from Castlegate. MESMAC also offer sexual health information, free condoms, support and counselling.

Gender issues

Many thousands of people in this country feel that they have been born into the wrong body. (This is known as gender dysphoria). For example, a trans person may feel that their birth gender does not match their identity. They may, or may not, decide to have treatment and change their gender. A trans person may not identify particularly as male or female, but somewhere in between, or outside of, traditional gender roles.

If you feel uncertain or unhappy about your gender, you may want to look for support or information. Some starting places are mermaidsuk.org.uk (support for children and teenagers) or www.nhs.uk. There is also:

Trams, a transgender youth group for people 14–25 year olds who are transgender or questioning their gender. They meet fortnightly at MESMAC; email for more information. You can also speak to your GP about what help is available.