Sexual orientation means how you are attracted romantically and sexually to other people. There are different kinds of sexual orientation. For example, a person may be:
The way someone becomes aware of their sexual orientation can vary from person to person.
Some people first become aware of their orientation during the preteen and teen years. For example, it's common to have your first romantic feelings in early puberty by having a crush on someone. In some cases, those early romantic feelings reflect a person's sexual orientation.
Other people may spend many years learning about and exploring their sexual orientation. As adults, they may better understand the way they feel (or don't feel) sexual and romantic attraction. They may realize that some experiences from their younger years were signs of their orientation that they didn't understand at the time.
And some people find that the gender or genders they're attracted to have changed over time.
Here are some definitions of words and phrases you may hear.
For many reasons, LGBTQ+ people may have extra stress.
If you move through life with added stress, it can affect your health and how you feel day to day. For example, you may:
One key to managing extra stress is to get better at recognizing when and how you feel it. In your back? In your sleep? It's even more important to find out what helps you feel better. A hot shower? Stretching? Calling a friend?
If you're in tune with how you feel and why, and if you have some tools to feel better, you'll be more likely to make healthy choices. And you'll be less likely to turn to things like alcohol, drugs, or food.
Having a strong support network can also be a great way to lower stress. Connecting with others can help people feel better and live longer.
Whatever your orientation or gender identity, it's important to realize that there are lots of people like you. Many of them may have the same emotions and questions that you have.
It can be comforting and helpful to talk to people who know what you're going through. You can find these people through local or online groups. If you don't know where to find support, check with:
Current as of:
November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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