Take a look at some of your most frequently asked questions about being LGB&T.
Some sexual behaviours make it easier for infections to be passed on than others. Penetration of the vagina or anus with a penis is the easiest way for many STIs to be transmitted. Lesbians who only have sex with women are therefore at a low risk of catching STIs during sex. It is worth remembering that some lesbians may have had sex with men in the past or may still have male sexual partners.
It is also possible for STIs to be transmitted when bodily fluids are exchanged. Bodily fluids include blood, saliva and vaginal fluid and can be carried on fingers, mouths and sex toys. Rougher sex such as fisting (inserting fingers, whole hand and possibly forearm in to the vagina or anus) increases the risk of cuts being made in the lining of the vagina or anus and so the possibility that blood will be present. To reduce risks of infection you can use a different hand for yourself and your partner during sex or use condoms/latex gloves on your fingers/hand and/or sex toys. Remember to use a different condom/latex glove for each person and/or wash toys between uses.
Dental dams can be used between the mouth and vagina or anus during oral sex: cunnilingus (licking in and around the vagina) or rimming (licking in and around the anus), to reduce risk of bodily fluids being exchanged.
Some infections can be passed on by skin to skin contact only e.g. syphilis. Most STIs are treatable if diagnosed early. For sexually active women a regular full sexual health check up can be a good idea.
Sometimes when people are talking about sexual orientation they say ‘it’s just a phase’. This could be because for some people sexuality can be fluid and change over their life time. Sometimes people will say this because they don’t want to accept you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans. They may hope you will realise you are actually straight or cisgender (not Trans); this is their problem not yours.
You are the person who knows best what you think and feel and only you can really know who you are attracted to. It may take some time for you to realise whether you are lesbian, gay bisexual or straight. You don’t need to rush to label yourself, there is plenty of time, so take it! Being LGB&T (Lesbian Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) is something you can be proud of and you can lead a happy, healthy and fulfilled life in every way.
Being gay does not mean that you will catch HIV. Everyone regardless of sexual orientation is at risk of catching HIV if you are having unprotected sex. The most common route of transmission, for men who have sex with men, is through unprotected anal sex. Condoms and lubricant used correctly will reduce the risk of HIV transmission remember though condoms can sometimes break. HIV can also be transmitted through unprotected oral sex though this is a lots less like than through anal sex. If your oral hygiene is good and you don’t have cuts in your mouth, then the risks of HIV transmission are low. Condoms used for oral sex will make this safer too. HIV treatments have improved a lot in the last few years so people living with HIV can lead healthier lives. There is still no cure and serious health implications. As a sexually active gay man you could have full sexual health screens include HIV tests between sexual partners. Tests these days are quick and easy and available at your local GUM or through community testing services such as Testing Times.
If you have sex with another man without a condom or the condom breaks during sex you should know about PEP.
You don’t need to rush to label yourself, there is plenty of time, so take it!
Just because you are gay does not mean that you won’t have the desire to have children. There are many ways that gay people can have a family. Firstly there is adoption. You would have to go through the process the same way a heterosexual individual or couple would have to go through when wishing to adopt. Another option is insemination by donor, this can be done with friends for example a gay female couple may have a male friend who wishes to be part of the process and can donate sperm for the female couple to use themselves, a gay man or gay male couple may in turn have a female friend who is happy to carry a baby for him/them, this is called surrogacy. Sperm donors or surrogate mothers can be found with professional help, the cost of this varies but can be quite expensive. In some cases a person who identifies as gay may not have always done so and may have had heterosexual relationships in the past which resulted in the birth of a child.
Lesbians, bisexuals, and any girls who are sexual with other girls can enjoy sexual pleasure in many ways. Just like there is no one "right" way for heterosexuals to have sex, there is no one "right" way for lesbians to have sex. What two girls do to have sex depends on what feels good for them and what they like. Too often people think that the only way to have sex is to put a penis into a vagina, but that may not be the activity that brings the most pleasure to the people involved.
Lesbians, bisexuals, and other girls touch each others' bodies by using their fingers, mouths (oral sex), and various body parts. Girls can kiss, touch each others' breasts, and touch the clitoris and other sensitive areas around the genitals or elsewhere on the body. Sometimes they use their fingers or sex toys to penetrate the vaginal or anal opening (anal sex). Girls can also rub their genitals against each others bodys and genitals. There are so many ways for women to enjoy sex with each other, our bodies are all unique and sensual in different ways you will find many ways to turn yourself and your partner(s) on.
When two people can communicate well, whether they are straight, lesbian, bi, or gay, they can experience a huge range of sexual activities that are mutually agreed on, pleasurable and creative.
You can work on finding other gay teens locally, or you can use the internet to make connections with LGB&T teens from all over. Either way, it's important to keep in mind that safety is your number one concern. The way you are going to go about finding other gay teens will depend somewhat on where you live. If you live in a large metropolitan area, it might be easier than if you are in a rural or suburban community. But even if you don't live in a city, don't despair! A surprising number of smaller communities do provide services for LGB&T youth. There are a number of ways to go about finding other gay teens in your area, look at the our area pages to find out about all the LGB&T youth projects located across Yorkshire and Humberside. These are a great way to meet like minded young people and make new friends.
Look at the youth group page to find out about all the LGB&T youth projects located across Yorkshire.
Trans Identity relates to your gender identity and is not the same as who you are sexually attracted to. Some people may find that their assigned gender at birth does not fit their gender they identify as internally (for example, being born with male genitalia but identifying as a female). You can also identify outside of the binary, as neither male nor female (this has the umbrella term Non-Binary). Gender identity can be a confusing subject and can often come with added complications around sexual orientation. LGB&T youth groups are a great place to meet other people who may be experiencing similar concerns where you can discuss your feelings and gain support around these issues.
Although there are laws in place to protect LGB&T people, statistics still overwhelming show that young LGB&T people still experience bullying and discrimination because of their sexual/gender identity. More Trans young people have harmed themselves or tried to kill themselves than the rest of the population and mental health statistics amongst LGB&T are significantly higher than those of heterosexual/cisgender people.
Trans Identity relates to your gender identity and is not the same as who you are sexually attracted to.