LGBT Questions and Answers for Teen Boys
The teenage years can be a challenging and confusing time. Not only is your body changing, but your feelings may also be changing. This can cause a roller coaster of emotions as you explore your sexual identity.
It is during the teen years that most boys and girls begin to take a closer look at their sexual orientation. That's a term used to describe a person's physical and romantic attraction to other people.
WebMD takes a look at what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. We give you answers to some pressing questions.
What does LGBT mean?
LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. It's a term used to describe types of sexual orientation.
Gay. A person -- male or female -- who is attracted to someone of the same sex.
Lesbian. A female who is romantically and sexually attracted to another female. Lesbians are also considered gay.
Bisexual. A male or female who is sexually attracted to both sexes.
Transgender. Someone whose feelings about being male or female differ from his or her sexual anatomy. For example, a person may be considered male because of having a penis. But in his mind he may feel like a female. Transgender is not the same as being gay. Transgender people may be heterosexual (attracted to the opposite sex), homosexual (attracted to the same sex), or bisexual.
I'm not sure if I am homosexual or bisexual. How do I know for sure?
Determining sexual orientation can be confusing for some people. Sexual identity often develops over time. So you may not know who you really are attracted to until you are older.
It is not unusual for heterosexuals, or straight people, to have fantasies or be curious about people of the same sex. Just because you have these feelings doesn't mean that you are gay. But, if you are gay, in time, your sexual feelings towards a person of the same sex will become stronger and clearer.
Is there something wrong with me if I am gay?
No! There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are who you are.
Why am I like this? Can I avoid being gay?
There are many factors that contribute to a person's sexual orientation. These include biology, environment, hormones, and emotions. Homosexuality is not caused by poor parenting or sexual abuse.
Most experts agree that a person's sexual orientation cannot be changed. Still, many homosexual or bisexual people choose to live a heterosexual lifestyle, despite their feelings. Usually, this is to avoid prejudice against homosexuality.
Should I come out?
Hiding your sexual orientation, or pretending to be someone you are not, can be painful and lonely. Such pain can harm your self esteem and lead to destructive behavior.