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Relationships & Sex Education

Sexuality and gender

Sex assigned at birth is about body parts and the label given on someone’s birth certificate, for example, male or female.

However, not everyone’s body parts, chromosomes or hormones fit neatly within these two categories, and they may use the term intersex.

Gender identity is about how someone feels on the inside. There are lots of terms to describe gender identity such as male, female, non-binary, and gender fluid. Sometimes people’s gender identity is the same as sex assigned at birth. This is known as cisgender. Sometimes this is different, and this is known as transgender.

Gender expression is how someone presents themselves through hair, clothes, makeup, and pronouns.

Sexuality is about who someone does or doesn’t find attractive.

There are lots of words to describe sexuality, including gay, straight, bisexual, asexual and many more. Not everyone experiences attraction, and attraction can feel different for different people. It can involve wanting to be around a person more, thinking about them when you are not with them and having a strange, but nice, feeling in your belly when you are with them or thinking about them. Sometimes attraction can be romantic and sometimes it can be sexual.

Sexuality and gender identity can be a worrying subject. There is an idea in our communities that people are straight and cisgender, unless you tell them otherwise. This makes it feel massive to speak out and be open and honest about how you feel.  We would like you to know that it is never okay to feel intimidated, bullied or alone because of your sexuality or gender identity.

For more help and information, talk to a trusted adult, visit ChildLine or complete our contact form