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What is sexuality?

Sexuality is diverse and personal to each individual.

Sexual orientation is a person’s attraction (emotional, physical and psychological) to another person and includes feelings, behaviour and identity. It is normal to be attracted to people of the opposite sex, the same sex, or both, to be unsure or questioning who you are attracted to or to not feel any sexual attraction. 

These are some of the words used to describe sexual orientation:

  • Heterosexual or straight – a person who is attracted to someone of the opposite gender;
  • Gay – someone who is attracted to people of the same gender. Some women prefer to call themselves gay rather than lesbian, although the word gay is most often used about men;
  • Lesbian – a woman who is attracted to other women. Some non-binary people may also identify as lesbian;
  • Bisexual - a person who is attracted to both men and women not necessarily in equal proportions and not necessarily at the same time;
  • Questioning – is the process of exploring your sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Gender identity is a person’s innate sense of their own gender, whether male, female or something else, which may or may not correspond to the sex they were assigned at birth. It is not about who you are attracted to which is sexual orientation.

  • Transgender – an umbrella term describing persons whose gender identity is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Non-binary – an umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with ‘man’ or ‘woman’. People may identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely.

There are a number of websites that can provide more information, these include:



The Rainbow Project

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