FAQs about Sexuality and Gender

Is it normal to have sexual feelings for same sex people?

Of course! Not only is it normal, but fairly common as well. Many people, not just people who identify as LGBTQ have sexual feelings for members of the same or similar gender or sex. Sexual feelings and fantasies provide a way for a person to explore their curiosities, feelings, and desires. Feelings do not need to translate to actions, unless you're comfortable with that.

If your attraction to the same sex continues, have comfort in knowing that many people feel the same way. If you have concerns, or would like to talk about these feelings contact:

Gender identity - I'm confused about my gender. Who can I talk to?

How do I know if I am bisexual, gay, or lesbian?

Sometimes it takes time to understand your sexual orientation. Some people know their sexual orientation at a young age, while others know later in life. An individual may prefer not to label their orientation, since they may also be trying to understand their sexual identity. With time, you may even change how you identify your sexual orientation, and that's okay too!

Someone told me that lesbians are not likely to catch sexually transmitted blood borne infections (STBBIs) - is this true?

Definitely untrue! STBBIs can affect anyone, regardless of whom you are having sex with. Infections such as genital warts and herpes can be transmitted through simple skin-to-skin contact with an infected partner. Other STBBIs, such as chlamydia & gonorrhea can be transmitted through sharing sex toys.

Protect yourself and your partner. Order free condoms and dental dams at the Sex It Smart website.

Do lesbians need to have pap tests?

Absolutely! A pap test (swab taken from the cervix) screens a woman for cervical cancer. Any person who is, or has been sexually active with a cervix should have cervical screening at the age of 21. Pap tests are recommended every 3 years, unless otherwise indicated by a health care provider. For more information, visit the Cancer Care Ontario website.

How can you tell if someone is gay, lesbian, or bisexual?

You can't. A person's appearance, income, mannerisms, profession, or political views are all unrelated to their sexual orientation. Labeling or judging others based on stereotypes is not okay! 

What is homophobia?

Homophobia is the fear, dislike, aversion, intolerance, and ignorance of homosexuals and homosexuality.

What is transphobia?

Transphobia is the fear, dislike, aversion, intolerance, and ignorance of transgender people.

If we have not answered your question yet, check out some of these other resources to find answers!

Local Resources:

  • LGBTQ2+ Youth Services: counseling, outreach, and support for young people aged 12-25 and their families in Ottawa. Request counseling through Social Services Intake at 613-233-5430, and leave a phone number or email address where it is safe to contact you. Please visit the Centretown Community Health Centre website for more information.
  • Youth Services Bureau: LGBTQ2+ positive individual, family, and group counseling and crisis intervention within Ottawa, for youth 12 years and older. Counseling Intake: 613-562-3004.
  • PFLAG Ottawa: Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Ottawa, is a support group for parents, families, friends, and spouses of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. Call 613-860-7138.
  • KIND (formerly Pink Triangle Services): For youth up to age 24. Youth lead peer support and discussion group. For more information, contact PTS 613-563-4818.
  • The Youth Line: Ontario's provincial LGBT peer support and info line 1-800-268-9688.
  • KidsHelp Line: 1-800-668-6868.
  • Family Service Centre of Ottawa offers counseling and therapy for all ages on a sliding fee scale.

National Resources:

 National Aboriginal Health Organization:

African, Caribbean and Black Organizations

 

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