Often seen as something that is confusing and complex, sexuality can be the elephant in the room. Because of how we have been told as a society to see it within its binaries (people are either “gay” or “straight”), we forget that there are many grey areas inside of sexuality as a whole. However, how you (as a person) define your own sexuality is up to you. According to www.theodyessyonline.com, “a person’s sexuality includes who they are sexually attracted to and who they are romantically attracted to.” Below are a few things you should know about the complex topic:
- Firstly, gender, sexuality, and sex are three completely different things. The sex of someone remains heavily based on biology and refers solely to the binaries, male and female. Gender is this plus having that applied on a cultural and social scale. For instance, they are societal meanings that are tied to how we portray what is considered to be either masculine or feminine. Lastly, The Odyssey defines sexuality as “the sexual attraction, practices, and identity which may or may not align with sex and gender.” For instance, a person’s sexuality is defined as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, queer, etc.
- Sexuality is a spectrum. Parallel to how a rainbow captures all of the colors for everyone to see, sexuality can be seen in the same light.
- Do not stereotype people and assume, because of how they may look is what they will be sexually attracted to. Someone’s preferences should not be assumed without some type of proof. Be patient and allow them to speak about this on their own terms and don’t cause confusion.
- When a person is ready to talk about their sexuality, allow them to talk about it on their own. It is their decision. Do not push them to speak about it or come out.
- According to www.healthychildren.org, “sexual identity may not be firmly set until adulthood.” Make sure to create a space with love and acceptance which will help build comfortability.
- Think about sexuality in a careful and deliberate way, and develop your own thoughts and perspectives of it. Do not allow negative portrayals to interfere with your journey into self discovery.
- Understand that almost every teenager has some type of sexual life. Whether or not this is seen in a physical way or even simply thinking about it, an important part of coming into teenage hood is thinking about these things.
- Try giving your parents some insight into your thoughts and feelings. Explain this in the most basic, most visible way. In most cases, some parents can be just as embarrassed, or in some cases lack some type of insight, but having an adult there to give you advice can be a wise decision on your end.
- Everyone’s sexuality is different and is something that is extremely personal to each and every person. Because of this, remember to be respectful of these differences. If someone is giving you a hard time for your sexual identity, notify a friend, family member, or some type of adult figure. It is never okay to have someone bully you because of this.