June is Pride Month, and what better time to answer some common sexual orientation questions and share how you can be an LGBTQIA+ ally?
Everyone has a sexual orientation. Your sexual orientation influences who you’re attracted to romantically and sexually.
Some people know their sexual orientation from an early age, while others discover it when they’re older. This is completely normal!
There are many ways to describe sexual orientation.
Only you can define your sexual orientation and you don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want to. You may also describe your sexual orientation differently at various times in your life.
Your gender identity is how you see yourself and your personal experience of your gender. Gender expression is how you communicate your gender to others, such as your clothes, makeup or haircut.
Assigned sex refers to the sex organs, chromosomes and hormones that define people as female, male or intersex.
Here are some ways people describe their gender and gender identity:
People often use gender pronouns to describe their gender identity. Pronouns can include:
Some people prefer no pronouns at all and that others refer to them by their name.
Asking what pronoun a person prefers is a sign of love and respect. If you ever get someone’s pronoun wrong, simply apologize and do your best to learn their preferred pronouns moving forward.
An ally is someone who isn’t LGBTQIA+, but supports their LGBTQIA+ family and friends.
Here are some ways you can be an ally:
When you’re a teen, it can be hard to navigate your changing body, relationships and emotions. That’s why it’s so important to have a trusted adult you can talk to about sex, sexual orientation, relationships and health. Check out these tips for communicating with adults.
If you need support, The Trevor Project has a crisis line for LGBTQIA+ youth. Call 1-866-488-7386, use TrevorChat to instant message with a counselor or use TrevorText by texting START to 678678. You can also contact Centerstone’s crisis line:
Need more info? Connect with an Expert.
AMAZE.org: What is Sexual Orientation? LGBTQ+
AMAZE.org: Sexual Orientation, Behavior and Identity
AMAZE.org: What Are Pronouns?
AMAZE.org: How To Be A LGBTQIA+ Ally
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
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