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Our identity is our sense of ourselves, who we are, and our character, culture, values, lifestyle and personality.Self esteem (how much a person likes, accepts, and respects themselves overall as a person) is strongly linked to our identity, as our sense of ourselves determines how much we like & respect ourselves. There are things we can do to enhance our self esteem, like writing a list of your strengths or favourite characteristics or talents, or things you wouldn’t change about yourself. You can also do that with a friend and write about each other’s strengths or talents. Sometimes just spending time appreciating yourself can really make you feel good!


“The sense, and continuity of self that develops first as the child differentiates from parents and family and takes a place in society. Neo-Freudian theorist, Erik Erikson, has proposed that there is a crisis of identity during adolescence. It is at this stage of development that a young person searches for an identity, trying out different friendship groups, different lifestyles, different career plans… In Erikson’s view, therefore, identity forms as a result of social interaction, and problems with identity occur if the adolescent feels alienated from society through, for example, [sexuality,] ethnic differences or unemployment.”
Source: Jary & Jary (2000) Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd Ed.

Significant parts of our individual identity is our sexual identity and our gender identity. Our sexual identity is our sense of our selves in regards to our sexuality, sexual behaviours, feelings & fantasies, and beliefs & values about sexuality. Our gender identity is our gender, gender role, femininity and/or masculinity and our beliefs and values about gender. Being same sex attracted or gender diverse can mean that our sexual & gender identities are especially significant. When a part of your identity is marginalised and stigmatised in society it can sometimes feel like it’s a bad part of us. But while it can be challenging, we are not bad or inferior and being a bit different can make you a stronger, and a more caring, respectful and open-minded person which are fantastic qualities to have!!


Things to Remember

  • It takes time to know who you are and being confused is a normal part of figuring it all out
  • Trust your feelings and talk about them with someone you trust
  • It’s OK to be yourself -however that feels right
  • Feeling attracted to the same sex is as natural as being attracted to the opposite sex. Feeling confused about your gender or like you are in the wrong gendered body is ok too. You are not alone; there are plenty of others who feel similar feelings to what you’re feeling.
  • Being different can be hard, but it can be more interesting and fun too!
  • Support is out there.

Contact FC or check out our Mental Health and Support info pages for lists of places you can get support from if things are too confusing or difficult to deal with on your own.


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