If you’ve had the thought ‘I am confused about my sexuality’ it may be that you think your sexual feelings are ‘wrong’. But there is no right or wrong sexual attraction. When we’re young and our hormones are raging, it’s normal to get turned on by both male and female bodies. Sexual experimentation is part of our development – it’s the way we find out what our preferences are.
There’s nothing wrong with being you
If your sexual orientation doesn’t fit in to what your friends or family might expect, it’s easy to think you’ve done something to be ashamed of and that you are the problem. Your head might be whirling with thoughts like:
- ‘What’s wrong with me?’
- ‘I can’t tell my parents. They’ll be ashamed of me.’
- ‘I don’t fit in. I’m weird.’
- ‘I hate being me. I don’t want to be like this.’
If you are also subjected to bullying or prejudice, it can put you under enormous pressure, making you feel even more isolated and distressed. But while it’s normal to feel confused about your sexuality, it is not normal to feel constantly anxious or miserable about it.
If you have been under stress for a while, you might have started self-harming, drinking or taking drugs to get away from the emotional pain. Please talk to someone. You may be depressed, and the earlier you get help, the quicker you get better.
You may think that no one can help you because they won’t understand what you are going through, but that isn’t true.
There are counsellors and support groups who will listen to you in a non-judgmental way and reassure you that you are not alone and that you can talk about your sexuality in a safe and supported environment. Just talking to someone will make you feel better, it really will.
- QLife (1800 184 527) is Australia’s first national counselling and referral service for LGBTI. It runs a 24/7 web chat service, as well as a telephone help line (5.30–10.30pm 7 days) and can refer you to local services for people who are sexually or gender diverse.
- Your GP can organise a referral to see a psychologist or other health professional who can help you learn to feel positive about your sexuality, and to love and accept yourself for who you are.
- Out & Online has self-help modules for same-sex attracted young people who are experiencing anxiety or depression.
Please don’t hide away. There is support out there.