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Problems arise when we're not allowed to express our identities or when we're told who we're supposed to be - we should be allowed to open our inner selves up and absorb as much light as we possibly can, but other people are often too invested in what they think we should be to let us be what we are. (Chally, Scarleteen blogger)

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Sexual Orientation and Identity

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Photo by sporkist.

Sexual selves come in many "colors". 

Some of the most common ways that people identify their sexual selves include:  

  • Questioning:  Individuals who are in the process of questioning, experimenting with, and identifying with their own sexual orientation.  
  • Heterosexual ("straight"): Individuals who are sexually attracted to and have sex only with someone of the opposite sex.
  • Homosexual ("gay," "lesbian"): Individuals who are sexually attracted to and have sex with only someone of the same sex.  
  • Bisexual: Individuals who are sexually attracted to and have sex with people from both their own sex and the opposite sex.  
  • Transgender: Individuals who have a gender identity that does not match social ideas and gender norms. Transgendered individuals may not "fit" into the expected roles, behaviors and appearances of their assigned sex. Transgender individuals can include transsexuals, crossdressers, genderqueer people and other gender non-conforming individuals.  
  • Intersex:  Individuals born with sex organs that are not identifiable. Intersex individuals are often born with sex organs, genitalia, and/or chromosomes that are not completely identifiable as male or female.
  • Voices of Experience

    I've come to find that a lot of people at one point or another question their sexuality -- I'm not alone.

    More Voices

Developing clarity about your sexual orientation and identity is a process.

You are a product of your biological makeup and your experiences.  What matters is your awareness and understanding of your self. Knowing yourself fully and deeply is key.  It's about discovery.  

Listen to others share their process on our Voices of Experience: Sexual Orientation  page. 

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Are you clear on how you identify?

Want to know more about gender and sexual orientation?  Visit the recommended links in BTW: Take Charge of Your Sex Life to learn more about sexual orientation and gender identity.      

Sexual orientation and relationships.

Same-sex romantic relationships are different from heterosexual relationships in some ways, but overall, healthy relationships look the same regardless of the gender mix.  So however you identify, the information WiRE provides on taking charge of your love life is for you. 

Move on to learn how we are wired for reproduction and pleasure...  

Move On!