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LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others. The ‘plus’ represents other sexual identities.

Gender identity

Many thousands of people feel that they have been born into the wrong body (this is known as gender dysphoria). For example, a trans person may feel that their birth gender does not match how they feel inside. A trans person may not identify as a particular gender, but somewhere in between or outside traditional gender roles.

If you feel unhappy or uncertain about your gender, there are services and organisations which offer lots of advice and support.

Childline has information and practical tips on gender dysphoria, transitioning and how to support someone with their gender identity.

Coming out

Coming out means sharing with others around you that you are lesbian, gay, bisexual and or transgender (LGBT+). Coming out can be different for everyone and it is important to do this in your own time and when you are ready. If you would like to talk to someone or get more information about coming out, contact MESMAC.

The LGBT Switchboard and helpline offer advice and understating by phone, chat or email.

Childline has some great information on sexuality definitions and support for coming out.

Sex and relationships

Whether you feel attracted to the same sex, to someone of the same sex, both or don't feel attracted to anyone at all, it is OK. We're all different.

The NHS has more information about sex including sex and the law, contraception, questions to ask yourself, safe sex including safe sex for women who have sex with women and men who have sex with men.

Read about sexual health for lesbian and bisexual women. In addition, read about sexual health for gay and bisexual men.

Search for services

The service directory has details of organisations that can provide information about support services for the LGBTQ+ community and sexual health, relationships, contraception, sex and the law, puberty, being a teenage parent, and services for young people.

All sexual health services are completely confidential. The services listed will not give information about you to anyone else without your permission, unless there is a serious risk to your (or someone else), health.