Young people who are questioning their sexual orientation can feel lonely and frightened. You may have feelings that make you wonder whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered and you don't know what to do.

Many teenagers have had little or no contact with people who they know to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered (GLBT). They have grown up in a straight (heterosexual) family, been taught exclusively or mainly by straight teachers, and think that all or most of their friends are straight. You may feel that the society you are living in promotes being straight as the preferred orientation and regards anything else as deviant.

So it can be hard for a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered teenager to understand his or her sexual orientation and/or gender identity. And it's particularly tough for young people whose families or communities don't accept different lifestyles due to prejudice and cultural or religious beliefs.

If you are feeling unsure about your sexual orientation you are not alone. Many young people will be experiencing similar feelings, thoughts and concerns. Trained advisors who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered provide helplines to offer a listening ear and to support you during this questioning time. See the resources below for details.

You may want to talk to someone - someone who won't judge you or tell you what to do, but who will listen to your thoughts and fears and feelings. Befriending centres can help. 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 gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered young people, we have listed some here.

Youth Guard Services - Cyber community for gay and lesbian teenagers all over the world
The Trevor Project - 24hour US telephone helpline for gay and questioning youth
Gay is OK, a personal view
Gay Student Center (US)
Arenal Grupo Lesbigay de Habla Hispana (Latin America and Spain)
Advocates of Youth (US)
Ambiente Joven - Spanish Speaking Online Community
Fenway Community Health
The White Ribbon Campaign
International Helplines Directory
LGBT National Youth Talkline (US)

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