'Gay' is the word used to describe the physical and emotional attraction of a person to people of the same sex. It is often used to describe men or boys who are sexually attracted to other males, but can also be used to refer to women or girls who are attracted to other females. The term 'homosexual' is no longer encouraged as historically it has created negative stereotypes.
You may feel worried and concerned that you feel different to your peers, or you may just have some questions and are not sure who to talk to. You may not know anyone else who is gay that you could talk to and ask for help. This can be a lonely and isolating time.
Please remember that your feelings are quite natural and many people share your experiences. Many support services and helplines are run by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) people who understand and have come through their own difficulties to live happy and fulfilling lives. See the resources below for details.
You may want to speak to someone - someone who won't judge you or tell you what to do, but will listen to your thoughts, fears and feelings. Befriending centres can help. They will listen to your problems, whatever they are, in a caring and non-judgemental way. You don't have to tell them who you are, and everything you say will be treated in complete confidence.
If you want to talk to someone right now you can click here.
There are many resources available for people who are gay, we have listed some below. Each country has different support and services, so the best thing may be to search for a specific service in your country on a search engine, .e. g. 'GLBT housing support'.
If you need help or support, please click on the link marked 'I need help'.
Gay and lesbian information
Gay Canada - Resources and internet communities
Terence Higgins Trust
I think I might be gay
International Helplines Directory
IGLYO - International GLBTQ Youth and Student Organisation
Albert Kennedy Trust - Providing safe, supportive homes for young people who would otherwise be homeless or in a hostile environment.