What is sexuality and LGBT?
As you grow up, you will probably find yourself thinking about the people you are or are not attracted to. This is called your sexuality. When we talk about sexuality many people will refer to LGBT this stands for ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans’ and is used to cover people who are not heterosexual.
Sexuality can be confusing. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure. In time, you’ll find that you’re drawn mostly to men or to women or to both or to neither, and you’ll know then. Don’t panic or rush to make your descision being young is the opportunity to figure out what works for you, so take your time!
What is gender identity?
Gender identity (how you feel about your gender) and sexuality (your sexual preferences) aren’t the same thing, but they’re both linked. Most young people grow up thinking of themselves as either a boy or a girl, and they don’t question which they are (their gender). But for some people, gender is more complicated. If you’re experiencing discomfort, uncertainty or you simply want to talk it through with someone about your gender, the important thing is to talk to an adult you trust.
Sexuality and gender can be confusing, and they can also take a little time to work out. If you would like some advice or support along the way please take a look at some of the dedicated services below.
Croydon LGBT and gender identity services
The Bridge Youth Club provides an environment where young people can engage in various youth club activities, while also sharing their feelings about their sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity. The Bridge offers a safe, social space and members offer each other support in the wider community as well.
The Bridge runs two weekly groups, one for people aged 11 – 16 and one for people aged 17 – 25.
We also signpost young people, where necessary, to various organisations locally and nationally for additional support, information and advice. Staff at The Bridge also offer information and advice for parents and carers, and professionals, especially teachers and social workers
Free training sessions are available to professionals working in Croydon.
For more information about joining the group call us on our mobile number: 07850308841, Landline number: 020 8305 5004 or email Sarah on: firstname.lastname@example.org
National LGBT services
- London Lesbian & Gay Switchboard (LLGS) provides an information support and referral service for lesbians gay men bisexual trans people and anyone who needs to consider issues around their sexuality.
- Brook provides free and confidential sexual health services and advice for young people under 25.
- Relate We’re the UK’s largest provider of relationship support, and every year we help over a million people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations to strengthen their relationships.
- It gets better project The It Gets Better Project’s mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them.
- LGBT helpline provides access to a network of trained volunteers who provide a non-judgemental, confidential, listening support and information service for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as well as their family and friends.
National gender identity services
- Mermaids offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences. We give support for individual young people, with or without support from their families, whether they are out or not We will try, where possible, to help their families understand and accept their child’s gender identity issue.
- Gendered intelligence deliver arts programmes and creative workshops to trans youth (under the age of 25) from across the UK in order to increase the quality of young trans people’s life experiences.
- Childline is here for you at any time. You can talk to a counsellor on the phone free on 0800 1111, send an email or have a 1-2-1 chat online.