Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender

Sexual Health and HIV Outreach Service

The Sexual Health and HIV Outreach Service provides a non-judgemental friendly service to gay and bisexual men, lesbians and bisexual women, and transgender/transvestite people, promoting awareness of LGBT issues. For more information please contact us below:

NHS - Sexual Health Service
St Mary's Hospital
Newport, Isle of Wight
PO30 5TG

landline 01983 534202 (for messages)
email: sexualhealth@iow.nhs.uk

Under 16?

It can be difficult for some young people to come to terms with their sexuality. It can be hard to be different from your friends or to make different choices. But what your friends choose to do may not be what you want . Whether you call yourself gay, bisexual, straight or lesbian, your sexuality is unique and important.

What does being lesbian, gay or bisexual mean?

Being gay or lesbian means being emotionally and/or physically attracted to members of your own sex. Being bisexual means you feel these attractions to members of both sexes.

We often hear being gay, lesbian, bisexual or  heterosexual (straight) referred to as someone’s ‘sexuality’. However, sexual orientation is only one part of a person’s sexuality.

Sexuality includes many aspects of our experiences – with ourselves and with other people – whether we are gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual. The sex you choose to have or not to have, and who you choose to have it with, is only one part or our sexual experiences.

Why Me?

Nobody knows for sure why some people are lesbian, gay or bisexual and some are heterosexual. Scientific evidence so far suggests that it may by our genes, just like right or left handedness.

One thing we do know for sure is that few people choose their sexuality. Many lesbians, gay men and bisexual people have reported feeling ‘different’ from as early as five or six years old.

You are not alone, although it may feel that way sometimes. It is estimated that at least 1 in 10 people are lesbian, gay or bisexual. Many laws have been changed over the past ten years to ensure that LGBT people are treated fairly and equally in all areas of life and do not suffer any form of discrimination, which means they are not made to feel uncomfortable or 'left out'.

Transgendered, Transsexual or Transvestite?

While being lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) are all descriptions of a person’s sexual orientation, being transsexual or transgendered (T) is about having a different gender-identity. This has been described by many people as a feeling that you are ‘in the wrong body’ – a girl inside a boy’s body or a boy inside a girl’s body. This often makes people want  to dress in the opposite sexe’s clothes. It also leads to some (but not all) people wanting to change their bodies through hormones or surgery. This condition is known as ‘Gender-dysphoria’ or ‘gender dysphasia’ and, if doctor’s agree it is in your best interests, you can change to become a boy if you're a girl and visa versa. This is a very big decision to make and it takes quite a long time.

Young and worried about your gender-identity?

Go to this national website www.gires.org.uk  or this one www.mermaidsuk.org.uk  which gives support for young trans people and their families.

Being transgendered has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. People who are transgendered can be gay, straight or bisexual.

Breakout Youth – IOW Youth Offer 13 to 21 years

IOW Breakout Youth is a local charity, offering a confidential support service for young people aged 13 to 21 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or unsure of their sexuality or gender identity. At Breakout Youth, you will find a group of likeminded young people that you can socialise with safely. To find out when the group is next meeting click here: http://www.breakoutyouth.org.uk/