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FAQs about life, love & coming out

Below are a whole lot of questions we've been asked anonomously over the past few years. If you have a question you'd like to ask email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or if you'd like to ask anonymously and have your answer posted on our tumblr blog www.fcyeah.tumblr.com head on over to our ask box.

 

I've become really confused about my sexuality... Am I gay or straight?

Dear FC, 
I'm an 18 yr old guy, and in the last month I've become really confused about my sexuality.  I have always thought of myself as gay, and have generally only ever had sexual and emotional feelings for other guys.  Recently I've moved away from home to study, and I\'ve begun to question my sexuality again.  All of a sudden I'm taking more notice of girls, and every time I see a good looking girl I seem to tense up, I feel really uneasy, and I begin questioning whether or not I might actually be str8.  Tbh, I still feel much more emotionally attached to guys.  I would only ever want to spend the rest of my life with another guy, but i\'ve become really uncertain about my sexual feelings... What should I do??  it's really frustrating me..

It’s up to you whether you identify as Gay or even Bisexual, or maybe no label at all! Many people’s sexual identity and feelings for guys/girls can change over time, and lots of people find differences between their physical and emotional attractions. Even if you are attracted to girls too you could still identify as gay if that’s what feels right for you. Check out our Info Page on Sexuality for more info and resources. Or if you want to talk confidentially and anonymously  Gay & Lesbian Community Services of WA have a great counselling line that's open 7-10pm weeknights Ph: 9420 7201 (metro) or 1800 184 527 (country) or you could register for the  FC Forum and chat about, ask questions or read what others think about their sexuality

What is pansexual? I think my friend is...

Dear FC,
What is pansexual? I think my friend is this and I am seeking clairfication??

As with many labels and words, they can mean something different to everyone, so you might be best to have an honest and respectful conversation with your friend about what pansexual means to her and whether she identifies with that label. Remember, someone's sexual identity is only what they choose to call it - regardless of whether that matches their sexual behaviours, feelings, or what someone else may use to label their sexuality. The definition of Pansexual is "people whose sexual and romantic feelings are for all genders; this rejects the gender binary of male/female and asserts that there are more than two genders or gender identities. ‘Pan’ means ‘all’. It's an inclusive term that considers the gender diverse community." Some people who identify as pansexual also say that they are attracted to a person, not a gender. For more definitions of words about diverse sexuality and gender, check out the FC Glossary .

Can people in same-sex relationships marry?

Dear FC,
Can people in same-sex relationships marry?

In Australia Same Sex Marriages aren't legal. There are many countries in the world where Same Sex Marriage is legal tho and a very recent poll - the Galaxy Poll, conducted on 29-31 May 2009, shows that a majority (59%) of Western Australians support same sex marriages, while 37% do not - read an article about it here .

I came out to all my friends at school today but i would feel more comfortable if the whole year knew...

Dear FC,
i came out to all my friends at school today but i would feel more comfortable if the whole year knew. is there any way to tell them that doesn't involve telling them each individually with no seeming relevance???

Unfortunately there probably isn't any easy way. A few suggestions you could try is; to tell your friends to let people know - word of mouth will spread pretty fast. Wearing a rainbow or other pride related badges/accessories could give people the idea. It's important to have a think about whether it's safe, or going to be worthwhile having everyone in your year knowing - it's important to consider whether some of them may be homophobic. Perhaps letting a teacher or other school staff member know too could be a good idea. The school can contact FC for posters, information and resources about diverse sexuality and gender if they want to get more informed. One booklet that they might find useful is the Safety In Our Schools booklet

I have been reading about FC via this site, and it sounds like its for me...

Dear FC,
I have been reading about FC via this site, and it sounds like its for me. I have accepted being bisexual some time ago, but now am trying to assess the fact i may be a lesbian. I have a girlfriend of four years, and i would really like to come along and meet some others like us. My girlfriend is quite shy, as am i, to come through that door. It wouldnt be posible to feel awkward after entering the FC could it???

I think everyone feels a little awkward or nervous when they go someone where new, but everyone at FC is very friendly and laid-back. The volunteers and staff make an effort to get to know people on etheir first couple of visits and make sure you feel comfortable. It's one of our key priorities to ensure everyone that comes to FC feels comfortable and safe, so you should be fine!! We'll look forward to meeting you both soon, and if you haven't already, you could join the FC Forum and get to know a few of us on there first!! :D

I would really like to join the Fc forum but i don't have an E-mail address...

Dear FC,
i would really like to join the Fc forum but i don't have an E-mail address, i have have come out to my mum but not to my dad. is there any other way i can join the FC forum??

Unfortunately we do need a contact email for people to join the FC Forum. You can sign up for a free email address at www.hotmail.com or www.gmail.com and then register for the FC Forum :D

I came out to two of my best friends today. they seemed fine with it but i wonder if they really are ...

Dear FC,
i came out to two of my best friends today. they seemed fine with it but i wonder if they really are freaked. does that happen alot???

Many people are fine when a friend comes out to them, but it's true that some people freak out too. The best thing you can do is keep talking about it to them wherever possible or relevant. The more you can talk to them about what your sexuality means to you, the better they can understand it (and get rid of any stereotypes and misconceptions they have about people who are GLBT) and hopefully fully accept it. Sometimes giving people information or reading it yourself so that you can discuss it with people can help. Some info I'd suggest you read is the 'Outsmarting Homophobia',  'My Friend is Gay', 'Someone You Love' and 'You're Not Alone' booklets - all of which can be found on our Info page as downloadable pdfs (or can be ordered or picked up from FC).  If you want to chat about this more, Gay & Lesbian Community Services of WA have a great counselling line that's open 7-10pm weeknights Ph: 9420 7201 (metro) or 1800 184 527 (country) or you could register for the  FC Forum and chat about, ask questions or read others' experiences of Coming Out :)

I would like to come out but i think my step siblings are homophobic ...

Dear FC,
i would like to come out but i think my step siblings are homophobic. one of them said that he punched a guy for calling him gay and that it is the worst insult in the world. should i come out to them or at all?

Coming out is a very personal experience for everyone and we all have to think about our personal circumstances to decide whether or not coming out at all, or right now, is right for us personally. Check out our Coming Out Info Pages about  ‘Things to Think about Before Coming Out’ and the ‘Dos and Don’ts of Coming Out’. It might also help to speak to someone about your personal circumstances so you can better think about when/whether coming out is for you.  Gay & Lesbian Community Services of WA have a great counselling line that's open 7-10pm weeknights Ph: 9420 7201 (metro) or 1800 184 527 (country) or you could register for the  FC Forum and chat about, ask questions or read what others have done about Coming Out :)

I think that i am a lesbian but i'm not sure if its that or bi? ...

Dear FC,
i think that i am a lesbian but i'm not sure if its that or bi. i don't think that i'm bi cos i now don't have feelings for guys but i used to only two years ago, does that mean i am bi?

It’s up to you whether you identify as Bi or Lesbian or anything else. Many people’s sexual identity and feelings for guys/girls can change over time. Even if you were still attracted to guys you could still identify as lesbian if that’s what feels right for you. Check out our Info Page on Sexuality for more info and resources. Or if you want to talk confidentially and anonymously  Gay & Lesbian Community Services of WA have a great counselling line that's open 7-10pm weeknights Ph: 9420 7201 (metro) or 1800 184 527 (country) or you could register for the  FC Forum and chat about, ask questions or read what others think about their sexuality :)

Is it possible that i only feel attracted to girls because i want to be like them? ...

Dear FC,
lots of my idols is it possible that i only feel attracted to girls because i want to be like them?

It is possible, but if you're attracted to girls that's ok regardless of what the reasons are behind it. :) There can be many different reasons for our attractions and those reasons and attractions can change over time for many people. Sometimes the best thing to do is just accept your attractions, but don't think you have  to label yourself by them. And remember that your attractions can grow and change throughout your life and it's your choice as to how you respond to those attractions. You might want to act on them, you might not. And that could change over time too. Really only you can know what's right for you. It might help to speak to a counsellor so they can help you to think about how you feel about your attractions. Gay & Lesbian Community Services of WA have a great counselling line that's open 7-10pm weeknights Ph: 9420 7201 (metro) or 1800 184 527 (country) :)

Dear FC, Do you have pictures of the place, so that I can see what it looks like? ...

Dear FC,
Do you have pictures of the place, so that I can see what it looks like, inside and out?

We've just added a couple of pictures to the contact page of the inside and outside of the Centre, and we'll put some better ones up soon!! If you check out the FC Blog there's different entires with pictures of the centre and some of the people in it too. Also, we've been doing digital stories about what it's like coming to FC for the first time, so that will be available on the website soon too!!! :)

I'm a 17 year old lesbian, and everything I've learned in Sex Ed doesnt help ME at ALL

Dear FC,
Hi, I'm a 17 year old lesbian, and everything I've learned in Sex Ed doesnt help ME at ALL. Are there any sites that can inform me about safe sex FOR the Queer Community? BEcause I'm nearly a legal adult, and it scares me to be so uninformed.

It's SO true that school sex ed can be less useful for girls who are into girls!! There is an excellent website that has all the info you're after - www.gir2girl.info -it has safe sex info, and heaps more for girls like yourself!

Is it possible if you could include more day time activities? ...

Dear FC,
My parent's don't know im bi, and I would really like to go to your centre, but I can't go at night, otherwise my parents would ask where I am going, is it possible if you could include more day time activities? Thanks tons

We already have Saturday sessions that are on the 2nd & 4th Saturdays of the month 11am-5pm. And sometimes we have extra Saturday sessions depending on what activities we’re up to etc. You can find info about the Freedom Centre Saturday sessions at the Calendar, Drop In Session & Workshop & Events Pages :D

Is it ok if I come along to make some new friends? ...

Dear FC,
Is it ok if I come along to make some new friends?

OF COURSE IT IS!! :D That's what FC is all about! Our drop-in sessions are specifically for people to come and meet new people that they have some things in common with. Then when you get to know other people that visit FC you might start to become friends. We'll look forward to meeting you sometime soon!!! :D

Ever since i was young about 10 i always liked more attention of females than males...

Dear FC,
hi I'm a 17 year old girl
ever since i was young about 10 i always liked more attention of females than males, they just make me feel more comfortable, but the last couple of years ive been confused about my sexuality and paying more attention to my older girlsfriends(just friends) but the attraction im not haveing towards them is overwelming...looking at their body, legs. i feel confused and lost and some what insicure that i dont think i fit in, but then i would feel comfortable labeling myself as a lesbian, but then telling my parents.... and what if it turnes out that i like guys,,,,i couldnt undo what ive said...i would love somones advise plz

 

This is a hard one but you're definitely not alone in having a dilemma like this! We can't tell you what the best thing is for your specific situation, so check out the Coming Out Info pages of the FC website for 'tips' and 'things to consider before coming out and think about your circumstances. For some of us, coming out isn't always the best option at the time. You could also try talking about something to do with gay grls or a movie with a good example of a lesbian girl so you can discuss it and get a better idea of how she might react to you coming out. Sometimes people say negative things about being gay just coz it's the thing to do in a homophobic culture, but if someone they loved was gay they might be ok with it. It might also be useful to have some info, like the Someone You Love or My Friend Is Gay booklets handy for your friend to read and get better informed with if you do decide to come out to her. I wouldn't recommend telling her about your feelings for her at the same time as coming out as this might all be too much new info at once for her to handle.

We're on FC Chat much more regularly these days, so keep an eye out for us! Also, people can only see the forum if they register (and are under 26), so your mum wouldn't be able to see anything on the forum that you post if you do decide to sign up. And you can email Dani, the FC Coordinator anytime on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We'll hope to speak to you soon!

I think I'm in love with my best friend. I don't know if I should tell her or not...

Dear FC,
I think i\'m in love with my best friend. I dont know if i should tell her or not. i\'ve heard her say a few pretty neg things about gay people. so does everyone at school. this is the closest i\'ve come to telling anyone about myself. i\'m 16 and live a few hours away from perth so cant come to freedom centre. it sounds great. wish there was something out here. this site is cool. i\'ve added you guys to msn but havent seen anyone yet. hope i do soon. i might sign up for the forum but i\'m a bit scared that my mum will see i\'ve been here. i cant tell her. maybe see you online. thankx

 

This is a hard one but you're definitely not alone in having a dilemma like this! We can't tell you what the best thing is for your specific situation, so check out the Coming Out Info pages of the FC website for 'tips' and 'things to consider before coming out' and think about your circumstances. For some of us, coming out isn't always the best option at the time. You could also try talking about something to do with gay grls or a movie with a good example of a lesbian girl so you can discuss it and get a better idea of how she might react to you coming out. Sometimes people say negatice things about being gay just coz it's the thing to do in a homophobic culture, but if someone they loved was gay they might be ok with it'. It might also be useful to have some info, like the Someone You Love or My Friend Is Gay booklets handy for your friend to read and get better informed with if you do decide to come out to her. I wouldn't recommend telling her about your feelings for her at the same time as coming out as this might all be too much new info at once for her to handle.

We're on FC Chat much more regularly these days, so keep an eye out for us! Also, people can only see the forum if they register (and are under 26), so your mum wouldn't be able to see anything on the forum that you post if you do decide to sign up. And you can email Dani, the FC Coordinator anytime on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We'll hope to speak to you soon!{

I'm not too if I'm attracted to guys, girls or both...}

Dear FC,
I don’t know yet if I’m a lesbian, bi or if it’s just a phase. Is it still okay if I come while I figure it out
?

 

That’s exactly what FC’s here for! We’re here so you can meet others who have been or still are unsure, are bi and lesbian. That way you can hear what other people have felt when in a similar situation to you, and hopefully feel better about making whatever decision feels right for you. We can also give you some great booklets that are all about figuring your sexuality and gender out, like ‘The Only Way Out Is In’ booklet by the Open Doors Youth Service and FC's ‘You Are Not Alone booklet. Also, our Glossary and Info pages might be useful for you to figure out what is what so you can be informed before you make any decisions.

Many people’s sexuality can also change over time; essentially everything we do is a bit of a phase, but that doesn’t make it any less important because it’s still how you feel and what you’re experiencing! Do what ever feels right for you and take your time figuring out what that is.

Dear FC,I don’t want to come out but I like males and I am male. Do I have to come out?

No-one has to come out unless they want to. It might not be the right time for you to come out yet. Many people only come out to selected people in their lives. Check out our coming out Info Sheets to get some tips for thinking about coming out and do what is right for you.{/slide}{slide=Dear FC,I’m really worried about people finding out I’m visiting Freedom Centre....}

 

Dear FC,I’m really worried about people finding out I’m visiting Freedom Centre....How do I know my parents won’t find out?

 

Staff and volunteers are commited to maintaining your confidentiality and privacy. The only time we would break that confidentiality is if we believed that you were in serious danger. Ask to see our FC Confidentiality notice that's on display in the drop-in centre for details.{/slide}{slide=Dear FC,I’m gay but sometimes I fantasize about straight sex. Does this mean I’m bi? Is this normal?}

Whatever feels right for you is normal! Many people’s feelings and fantasies don’t match perfectly with their identity or sexual behaviours. You are only Bi if you want to identify as Bi, it’s up to you!

I am a gay girl who has not come out to my family yet, though a few of my close friends know...

Dear FC,
I am a gay girl who has not come out to my family yet, though a few of my close friends know. I am not sure how to do it as i have been having dreams about them responding badly which is making me more nervous. I was wondering if it would be easier to tell my parents individually or as a whole family?

A lot of people have bad dreams and other worries about coming out to their loved ones, so you're definitely not alone there!  We can't tell you what the best thing is for your specific situation, but if you're nervous, it might be easier to tell them one on one. Check out the Coming Out Info pages of the FC website for 'tips' and 'things to consider before coming out'. It might also be useful to have some info, like the Someone You Love booklet handy for your parents and family to read and get better informed with. GOOD LUCK!

I need some relationship advice...

Dear FC,
I’ve never had a boyfriend before… What should I look for in a boyfriend?

No-one can tell you what you should look for in a boyfriend but you! The best way to discover what you need and want from a boyfriend is to get to know yourself better. Honesty, communication, understanding and having something in common or to share together, are all great things to look for in a loving relationship.  Check out our Relationships and Identity Info sheets in the Info section for more on getting to know yourself and relationships.

Dear FC,
I just broke up with my boyfriend and I am ready to start dating again, can you set me up with someone?

We are not really focussed on dating at FC. In fact our drop-in centre is a pick-ups-free zone which means no one can ‘hit on’ anyone while they’re at FC.

We are more about meeting new people and having fun in a safe and respectful space. If visitors become friends (or something more) after getting to know each other at FC that’s great, but we can’t play matchmaker for you! Sorry!

Dear FC,
I really like a friend of mine who says he’s straight but I get the vibe he’s just scared of being gay. What should I do?

It sounds like your friend hasn’t come out to themselves, so they aren’t likely to be ready to think about a relationship with you right now. It sounds like the best thing you can do at the moment is to be a good friend and let them know they’re okay being themselves and that being same sex attracted is okay too (if he feels he is). Maybe you guys could check out the booklets “The Only Way Out Is In” and “You’re Not Alone”. They both contain some really great info and could give you both a chance to talk about it together.

I'm having some trouble explaining things to family and friends...

Dear FC,
My parents know I’m gay but they’re struggling to accept and understand. They say they’re concerned about my safety. How can I help them?

It’s understandable that your parents are worried about your safety - they’ve probably heard about the homophobia and homophobic violence that happens in society. They may also believe the myths about HIV being a ‘gay’ virus (which isn’t true; heterosexual people are just as at- risk). Everyone in the entire world should think about personal safety and having safer sex these days. There are plenty of things we can all do to ensure our safety (check out our Homophobia and Sexual Health Info Sheets).

Talk to your parents about the things you’ll be doing to ensure your safety. Being honest about what you’re doing and where you’re going might help to reassure them too.

Show your parents the “Someone You Love” booklet and the Parent Portal of this site (coming soon!). Talking with your parents honestly about what being gay means to you might help them to see where you're at.

Dear FC,
My dad says he didn’t want a son, that he would have one if he did. How can I be more girly?

You shouldn't have to change who you are for anyone else. If being less girly is how you feel comforable being yourself, then that's OK. You might want to explain that to your dad so he can understand and accept you as you are.

Dear FC,
I don’t know how my parents would react if they found out about me. What would be the best way to come out to them?

We don't know your parents like you do, but what they say about LGBT people in general could help give you an idea. Check out our Coming Out Info Sheets to get more tips and use them to figure out what will be the best way to come out in your family.

Dear FC,
I feel like I’m equally attracted to both sexes and consider myself bi. My dad on the other hand says he’s fine with me being gay or straight, but not in between and that I should just make up my mind. How do I decide which I like best?

Lots of people believe different things about sexuality, but at FC we believe that sexuality isn’t so black and white. In fact, we believe that sexuality is on a continuum (Search for “Kinsey Scale” or “FBI Model + Feelings + Behaviour + Identity + Sexuality” for academic theories on this); with gay at one end and straight on the other and most of us fit somewhere in the middle!

Even if someone is gay, doesn’t mean they never have/will have a sexual relationship with the opposite sex, just like there are people who are straight who have/will have sexual relationships with the same sex.

If your feelings are telling you that you like both guys and girls, then that’s who you’re attracted to and you can’t make your feelings change. Even if you were more attracted to one gender than the other, but still liked both, you don’t have to make a decision, you just have to respect your feelings and do what feels right for you. Check out our Sexuality and Identity Info Sheets for more info.{/slide}{slide=Dear FC, Can you make me straight?}No-one can change who you’re attracted to. Sometimes we feel things that we didn’t expect, or that society tells us not to but, we all have to trust and respect our feelings, even if it takes some time. Check out our Info sheets on Sexuality, Coming Out and Identity. {/slide}{slide=Dear FC, My friends keep saying I'm gay...Does that mean I am?}No-one but you can know if you’re gay or who you’re attracted to, except you. Sometimes people use ‘gay’ as an insult or joke. Get to know yourself and who you are then you’ll be able to tell your friends what your sexual identity is!

My girlfriend gets angry when I hug her in public...

Dear FC,
My girlfriend gets angry when I hug her in public
because she thinks we should be discreet. The thing is I’m just as affectionate with all my friend’s both girls and guys. How can I get her to see that it’s okay?

Talking to each other is really important in a relationship so you both know where each other are coming from. So tell her that you wouldn’t act any differently if she were a guy or a friend (if you haven’t already). But it’s really important to respect how she is feeling, and if she isn’t comfortable being affectionate in public then you shouldn’t push her into something she’s not OK with. Everyone is different and some people don’t like being affectionate (regardless of their sexuality) in public, while others do. The trick is to listen to each other, try to see it from each other’s perspective, and respect each other’s feelings.

If I have kids can I come to the FC?...

Dear FC,
If I have kids can I come to the FC? Also if I can’t find a babysitter can I bring my child along?

Everyone is welcome at FC! Obviously we are a youth space though, so while keeping with that, anyone is welcome. We have had visitors bring their kids (and parents, siblings, friends, and support people!) before and they are definitely welcome, although if you can make arrangements you might get more out of coming along if you don’t have to keep your ‘parent hat’ on while you're at FC.{/slide}{slide=Dear FC, I'm not too if I'm attracted to guys, girls or both...}

Dear FC,
I don’t know yet if I’m a lesbian, bi or if it’s just a phase. Is it still okay if I come while I figure it out
?

That’s exactly what FC’s here for! We’re here so you can meet others who have been or still are unsure, are bi and lesbian. That way you can hear what other people have felt when in a similar situation to you, and hopefully feel better about making whatever decision feels right for you. We can also give you some great booklets that are all about figuring your sexuality and gender out, like ‘The Only Way Out Is In’ booklet by the Open Doors Youth Service and FC's ‘You Are Not Alone booklet. Also, our Glossary and Info pages might be useful for you to figure out what is what so you can be informed before you make any decisions.

Many people’s sexuality can also change over time; essentially everything we do is a bit of a phase, but that doesn’t make it any less important because it’s still how you feel and what you’re experiencing! Do what ever feels right for you and take your time figuring out what that is.

I've got a few questions about Freedom Centre

Dear FC,
How much does it cost to come to Freedom Centre? Do you give discounts for students?

Freedom Centre is 100% free, but this means we can’t give discounts!! ;-)

Dear FC,
Is it safe at Freedom Centre? Can anyone just walk in?

One our main aims is to make FC a safe space for people to feel comfortable dropping in and being themselves.

If anyone ever feels unsafe or uncomfortable at FC we ask them to speak to the FC Staff, Dani or Nick, so they can sort it out.

We keep the front door locked for security purposes, so just knock while we're open and we'll come let you in when you drop-in.

Dear FC,
What actually happens at the Freedom Centre?

Mainly we all just sit around and chat! We might also play games, read magazines, watch movies and get creative with various arts & crafts depending on what everyone wants to do. We also have a kitchen for teas & coffees, a computer for people to use, a library full of books and heaps of info to pick up if you need it.

Dear FC,
Do you guys have food or drinks or a canteen or something like that? I’d be coming after school and I’m starving then.

At FC we have tea and coffee for our visitors. If you want to bring something to eat you can heat it up in our microwave or put it in the fridge for later. There are lots affordable shops and takeaway restaurants nearby where you can get a bite to eat as well!

I'm in the country and I was wondering if you could open an FC here?

Unfortunately we only get funding to provide services to the metro area, although we can talk to you on FC Chat or give you any info or talk to you via phone or email. But True Colours is the rural & regional support service for young people with diverse sexuality and gender. Go to our Beyond Perth page to find out more.

What makes someone gay?

Dear FC,
Is it possible I’m gay because of the environment I’ve grown up with? If so then have I really chosen? If I’m this way and the world doesn’t like it, what do I do?

Many people believe different things about what makes us same sex attracted. Some people think that genetics makes people gay and some people think the environment we’re raised in makes people gay. Some people think it’s a combination of both. At Freedom Centre we don’t really think it matters what makes people gay. That maybe it’s more important that we trust and respect our feelings.

In regards to your statement about "the world not liking it”; there are communities and people who respect diversity and individual choice that you could get involved with. Maybe that could make it easier to cope with the parts of our world that aren’t so respectful of diversity.{/slide}{slide=Dear FC, How can I make people realise I'm a lesbian? I'm sick of being hit on by guys.}Unfortunately there isn’t a way to make people realise you are a lesbian without carrying around a big yellow sign that says on it “I’m a Lesbian” (it probably isn’t wise to do this by the way). Unless you fit a stereotype (which many people don't) or wear rainbow accessories (which many people do not) it can be very hard to be identified as LGBTQ (even within the LGBTQ community!!).

If a guy hits on you and you feel comfortable and safe disclosing your sexuality to strangers, you could tell him you are a lesbian and that you are flattered; thanks but no thanks. If not you could simply say you aren’t interested. Remember that you don’t have to disclose your sexuality unless you want to. Your sexuality is private and you shouldn’t feel that you have to justify your disinterest by revealing personal information about yourself.{/slide}{slide=Dear FC,I like to wear my sister’s knickers. Does this make me gay?}

Being gay is about who you're attracted to and who you fall in love with, not what you like to wear. What you wear doesn't determine your sexuality. Everyone is different and we all have different preferences for sexuality, gender & fantasies and the ways we express them. Check out our Info Sheets on sexuality, gender & identity to look at this more.

I don’t want to come out but I like males and I am male. Do I have to come out?

No-one has to come out unless they want to. It might not be the right time for you to come out yet. Many people only come out to selected people in their lives. Check out our coming out Info Sheets to get some tips for thinking about coming out and do what is right for you.

I’m really worried about people finding out I’m visiting Freedom Centre....

Dear FC, I’m really worried about people finding out I’m visiting Freedom Centre....How do I know my parents won’t find out?

Staff and volunteers are commited to maintaining your confidentiality and privacy. The only time we would break that confidentiality is if we believed that you were in serious danger. Ask to see our FC Confidentiality notice that's on display in the drop-in centre for details.

I’m gay but sometimes I fantasize about straight sex. Does this mean I’m bi? Is this normal?

Whatever feels right for you is normal! Many people’s feelings and fantasies don’t match perfectly with their identity or sexual behaviours. You are only Bi if you want to identify as Bi, it’s up to you!

My music taste is beginning to get a lot of questions about my sexuality...

Dear FC,
My music taste is beginning to get a lot of questions about my sexuality. For example; I listen to Britney Spears, Madonna, Gwen Stefani etc. Does listening to these artists mean I’m gay?

The type of music you listen to doesn't determine your sexuality! Be yourself no matter what your sexuality or your taste in music. People can speculate whatever they like; it doesn't change who you are and we don't all fit into stereotypes and cliches.{/slide}{slide=Dear FC, Im 25 almost 26 and I want to come to FC. What happens when i turn 26?} You are welcome to come along while you’re still under 26. Once you turn 26 you can access support from GLCS (www.glcs.org.au) who have a women’s and a men’s group for people over 26.

I'm really nervouse about coming to FC for the first time...

Dear FC,
I’m nervous about coming to the FC but I don’t know anyone else who’s gay. Is it okay if I bring a straight friend or my mum?

Definitely. People often bring a friend, parent or other support person along with them for their first visit to FC. We understand that it can be scary coming to a new place and having someone you know come with you can make it a lot easier!{/slide}{slide=Dear FC, People at school don't know i'm gay yet but...}

Dear FC,
People at school don’t know I’m gay yet but they are always teasing each other with insults like gay and fag. Do you guys give talks at schools or anything like that?

We can give talks at schools, but we’d obviously have to get permission from the school and most likely the parents of the students that are attending our talks. We also come and do info stalls at school health expos or events. You can speak to one of your teachers about getting them to contact Dani, the FC Coordinator about talks, staff trainings, info stalls, or for us to send out some info resources for the school to have available in pamphlet displays etc. Feel free to contact us to discuss some options for this.

If you feel you can you could try talking to a teacher or parent about people using gay and fag as insults in your school. Maybe they all need to think about the negative message they're sending out.

I have walked past a few times and I’m too scared to come in, is this normal?

For a lot of people coming to the FC for the first time can be a daunting experience as it is often the first point of contact that they have had with other same sex attracted and gender diverse people (at least that they are aware of). So yes, it’s very normal to feel scared or anxious when going to any new place. Take as long as you need. Many of our staff and volunteers have had very similar experiences when first coming to FC and are happy to share those experiences with you too.

Remember we are a support service and are here to support and respect you for who are and if or when you make the decision to come in you should know that you are very welcome.

Feel free to contact Dani the FC coordinator and she can help you with anything you might need to know to make it easier to walk in that door!{

I'm gay, and i have only told my closest friends that i am gay. but i havent told my family...

I'm gay, and i have only told my closest friends that i am gay. but i havent told my family, and i dont think that i am ready to tell them yet. But i feel really mean not telling the people who have cared for me, and loved me for my whole life. what should i do? tell them and get rid of this horrible feeling or keep it to myself and feel mean???? gahhh i need help :(

Only you can know when coming out to your family and other people in your life is right - if you're not ready now, wait until you do feel ready. Think about when and how you might want to come out to them. Check out the Coming Out Info Sheets to help you think it all through to figure out what's right for you. Check out the FC Forum to chat with others about coming out to different people in their lives.

I'm am trying to work out if i am Bi or Lesbian...

I'm am trying to work out if i am Bi or Lesbian. i am now only attracted to girls and i would prefer to identify as lesbian but two years ago i used to like guys. does that mean i am Bi??

It’s up to you whether you identify as Bi or Lesbian or anything else. Many people’s sexual identity and feelings for guys/girls can change over time. Even if you were still attracted to guys you could still identify as lesbian if that’s what feels right for you. Check out our Info Page on Sexuality for more info and resources. Or if you want to talk confidentially and anonymously Gay & Lesbian Community Services of WA have a great counselling line that's open 7-10pm weeknights Ph: 9420 7201 (metro) or 1800 184 527 (country) or you could register for the FC Forum and chat about, ask questions or read what others think about their sexuality :)

I'm a 22 year old male and have trouble finding a guy to love me..

I'm a 22 year old male and have trouble finding a guy to love me. most of the time people say im not good looking. how do i change the way they look at me?

There's no reason to change yourself for others, especially when their perceptions of you, or what is 'good looking' are apparently so conceited! Who people find attractive is subjective - we are all different, and I guarantee you there are people out there who will find you attractive. Many people say that the kind of attractiveness that matters, is the kind that ISN'T stereotypical - it's more about feeling confident about yourself and then others find that confidence attractive and are drawn to you. So the only things I can suggest is to do things that make you feel good about yourself and make you feel more self-confident - and then as you become more confident and comfortable in yourself, others will be attracted to that - maybe not ALL others, but the ones who will be worth it. Also, don't concentrate on finding someone to love too much - that puts pressure on yourself, and probably prevents you from being so confident and comfortable with yourself, thereby reducing the chance of others seeing the real you. In my experience, it's when you stop looking for love and spend time feeling good about yourself, that love will come along without you even trying!! :)

I'm 39 and ftm transsexual and i want to find a drop in place to meet others...

I'm 39 and ftm transsexual and i want to find a drop in place to meet others but im too old! what can i do?

There are a couple of places you can go to meet people who are trans and gender diverse. FTM Australia hosts a yahoo group called OzGuys that has a WA based group. The WA Gender Project is a lobby and support group for gender diverse Western Australians. Chameleons WA is a social support group for the trans and gender diverse community in WA, but they are aimed more at MTF women and crossdressing men.

I have an STI (genital Herpes) and I'm lesbian, do you know of any support?

I have an STI (genital Herpes) and I'm lesbian, do you know of any suppot services for people like me.It's hard enough being lesbian but having herpes is even worse. Should I just give up and not try and find a partner?

This must be hard for you, but be assured that there are plenty of people in similar situations to you! Don't give up on finding a partner - there are several options for you; - Get educated about how genital herpes is transmitted and how you can have a fulfilling sex life without transmitting it to your partner. Herpes is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, so you can use dental dams, latex gloves (and condoms if you're using sex toys). You can get a free 'Clit Kit' with a dam, latex glove, condom and lube from FC or at our stall at Fairday! Or you can get all your latex products at cost price from the WA AIDS Council or FPWA Sexual Health Services . For more information about Genital Herpes click here or call the Sexual Health Helpline on (08) 9227 6178 / 1800 198 205. Then it's just a matter of being prepared and ensuring you always have safe sex. You can talk about the importance of safe sex with your partner and make sure she knows how to reduce the risk of transmission too. - If you want to try dating someone who will be more likely to understand what it's like to have an STI (Sexually Transmissable Infection) there are a number of dating sites (that are inclusive of the GLBT community!) for people with an STI!! Just Google "Herpes Singles Dating" and you'll find several of the dating sites - or one that I can recommend is www.positivesingles.com. You can specify that you are a woman seeking a woman, and you can even specify what kind of STI you have/ want your partner to have too!! - Finally, if you're struggling with coping with your diagnosis, it might be useful to talk to someone about it. Counselling services are available at the WA AIDS Council or FPWA (click to go to their counselling services pages). Good luck!! :D

Dear FC, can you make me straight?

No-one can change who you’re attracted to. Sometimes we feel things that we didn’t expect, or that society tells us not to but, we all have to trust and respect our feelings, even if it takes some time. Check out our Info sheets on Sexuality, Coming Out and Identity.

How can I make people realise I'm a lesbian? I'm sick of being hit on by guyz

Unfortunately there isn’t a way to make people realise you are a lesbian without carrying around a big yellow sign that says on it “I’m a Lesbian” (it probably isn’t wise to do this by the way). Unless you fit a stereotype (which many people don't) or wear rainbow accessories (which many people do not) it can be very hard to be identified as LGBTQ (even within the LGBTQ community!!). If a guy hits on you and you feel comfortable and safe disclosing your sexuality to strangers, you could tell him you are a lesbian and that you are flattered; thanks but no thanks. If not you could simply say you aren’t interested. Remember that you don’t have to disclose your sexuality unless you want to. Your sexuality is private and you shouldn’t feel that you have to justify your disinterest by revealing personal information about yourself.

I like to wear my sister's knickers. Does this make me a gay?

Being gay is about who you're attracted to and who you fall in love with, not what you like to wear. What you wear doesn't determine your sexuality. Everyone is different and we all have different preferences for sexuality, gender & fantasies and the ways we express them. Check out our Info Sheets on sexuality, gender & identity to look at this more.

Dear FC, I'm 25 almost 26 and I want to come to FC. What happens when I turn 26?

You are welcome to come along while you’re still under 26. Once you turn 26 you can access support from GLCS (www.glcs.org.au) who have a women’s and a men’s group for people over 26.

FAQs About Diverse Gender

Before you check our FAQs about diverse gender, check out our glossary which has all the meaning of
different labels and terms; it might answer some of your questions and it will help you understand some
of the following FAQs and their answers too.

 

I think I might be Trans or the opposite sex to the one I was assigned at birth; but what if I don’t know for sure?

It’s OK to take time to figure out who you are and being trans or the opposite sex from what you were assigned is most importantly about what you feel comfortable identifying as and how you feel comfortable being; not what someone else thinks you are or what you have been told to be.

Many people don’t feel they fit their gender role and the stereotypes for their gender, but some people also feel the sex or gender of their body doesn’t fit right for them and that they would feel right as the opposite gender. The medical term for this is ‘Gender Dysphoria’; “A persistent unease with having the physical characteristics of one's gender, accompanied by strong identification with the opposite gender and a desire to live as or to become a member of the opposite gender” (The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary; 2007).

Gender identity is how you identify your gender. Many people identify as Trans; others prefer to identify only as their new gender. Others prefer transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, trans man, trans woman, FTM/F2M, MTF/M2F, sistergirl, tranny, boi, tranny boi, bi-gendered, genderfucked, and many more. It’s up to you and what feels right.

 

Gender is very complex and lots of people have many different views about gender, gender dysphoria, and transgender-ism. At Freedom Centre we believe that everyone knows what’s right for them, that everyone is different and that we have the right to be respected for who we are. It takes time to know who you are and being Trans* has some huge implications for your everyday life, but being honest with yourself and true to who you are makes any challenges worthwhile. You’ll face some hard decisions and circumstances and need to link in to support networks for your journey.

Am I the only one with these feelings?

There are thousands of other people around Australia and the world who feel their body is not the right gender for them and who have transitioned to the opposite gender from the one they were assigned at birth. You are not alone!

Find Out More

We’re sure you have heaps more questions, but the SimplyTrans and GQ (Gender Questioning) booklets have answered most of the big questions so instead of us repeating things check them out!

Also check out our Links, and Info Sheets on Gender for more info, plus drop in to FC’s GenderQ session for info and peer support.

 

Feel free to contact Dani (9228 0354 /9482 0000 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for support or information too!

FAQs from Parents and Familys

The following information is taking from the booklet "Someone You Love".

 

Why did they have to tell me?

Some families believe they may have been happier not knowing. They start to recall the time before they knew as ‘problem free’, remembering an ideal situation rather than the reality.

Sometimes we can try to deny what is happening by rejecting what we’re hearing (“it’s just a phase; you’ll get over it”); by shutting down (“If you choose that lifestyle I don’t want to hear about it”); or by dismissing or not registering the impact of what we’re being told (“that’s nice dear, and what do you want for dinner?”).

 

Parents and family may feel resentment towards their loved ones’ sexuality. This feeling is based on the belief that to be gay, lesbian, trans* or bisexual was a conscious decision. Being GLBTQ is not a choice or decision people make. The main decision most GLBTIQ people have to make is whether to be honest about who they are or hide it. Hiding it imposes a tremendous burden. A large part of their life would be kept secret from you, and you would never really know them. While people may experiment for some time with their sexuality and/or gender, someone who has reached the point of telling their family that they are LGBTQ is not usually someone who is going through a phase. Generally they have thought long and hard to understand and acknowledge their sexual orientation or gender identity. Telling family they think they are LGBTQ involves overcoming a great many negative stereotypes and often taking a great risk, and few would take that step lightly or prematurely.

What did we do wrong

Some parents and family members experience feelings of guilt when they first find out about their child of family member’s sexuality or gender. However there is no evidence that different parenting styles or family situations have a bearing on the development of sexual orientation or gender Dysphoria. Families can however provide an environment in which young people can understand and be true to themselves and strive to reach their full potential.

Why didn’t they tell us before

You child or loved one has probably been confused or unsure and thinking about this for months or even years. This does not mean they don’t trust or love you, nor is it a reflection on your relationship. If you’re a parent or family member it can be painful to realize that you don’t know your child as well as you thought you did and that you may have been excluded from a part of their life. To some extent, this is true in all parenting and family relationships, regardless of sexuality.

Gay, lesbian, trans* and bisexual people often recognize at an early age that they feel ‘different’, but it may take years before they can put a name to it or feel sure about things. It’s often not until this stage that they consider telling someone.

 

Even though you may have some sadness for not having been able to help your child or loved one through that period, understand that your child or loved one probably could not have told you any earlier. More importantly, them doing so now is an invitation for a more open and honest relationship.

Why am I uncomfortable with my loved one’s sexuality or gender?

Our culture and society gives us messages about many things, including sexuality, sex and gender. The negative messages or myths we have learned from our society about these are very strong and not easy to dismiss. However developing a better understanding of your loved one and becoming more familiar with the issues will help reduce these uncomfortable feelings. Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia are a very strong part of our culture and is similar to many other forms of discrimination and prejudice. As long as prejudice exists on our society LGBTIQ people and their families may have very real and legitimate fears and concerns.

Could a counsellor or therapist be helpful?

Support for family members who are coming to terms with their loved one’s sexual orientation or gender diversity can be gained from a counselor or therapist trained in the area of sexual or gender diversity (check out our Support and Mental Health sections for some that FC recommends). You may want to talk about your own feelings and how to work through them. It may help you and your loved one communicate clearly through this period.

Young people who have acknowledged their attractions to the same gender, or who have acknowledged their true gender identity can still have feelings of depression, fear and isolation, and may need help with self-acceptance.

Consulting a counselor or therapist in the hopes of changing your loved one’s sexual or gender diversity has little value. The Australian Psychology Association asserts it can be harmful to the individual to do so, and that homosexuality is not a disorder and is not something that can be changed through conversion therapies.

 

Check out our Info section for more information about Sexuality, Gender, Discrimination, Mental Health, Support and more.

Will they be rejected, have trouble finding or keeping a job, or be attacked?

Our society often discriminates and is even violent towards people who are seen to be different. However, attitudes towards LGBTIQ people have been slowly changing for the better and are more positive in many places. There are a growing number of groups who are working for such change and who are ready to help those who have difficulties.

 

It is important to remember that many LGBTIQ people have grown to fulfill their dreams and have become very successful and respected people in the community. As a society we may have a long way to go, but giving your loved one support and love will go far to making their journey easier.

Will my loved one be lonely in their old age if they do not have a family of their own?

LGBTIQ people do develop long lasting relationships and friendships. Long time gay and lesbian couples become a family through their commitment and lives together. Many LGBTIQ people have children through a variety of means.

What about HIV/AIDS or other STIs (Sexually Transmissible Infections)

All people and communities face the threat of HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is not a gay men’s disease. No virus is that smart! It is the activities that a person practices that place them at risk of contracting HIV or other STIs. Therefore, every person should be concerned about STIS, including HIV/AIDS – regardless of their sexuality, age or any other factors. Everyone should learn how STIs and HIV are transmitted and how they can protect themselves.

 

HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk. It can be transmitted by engaging in unsafe sex (without a condom and lubricant or other methods for safer sex), sharing needles, or from mother to child through breast milk or birth. Practicing safe sex and not sharing needles is the best way to protect ourselves from HIV and other blood-borne viruses.

Is it a sin?

For some families, this may be a difficult issue to face. For others it’s a non-issue. We each have our own religious or spiritual beliefs. Most religions and churches have members with a range of views and interpretations of their faith. A number of religious organizations support equal rights for LGBTIQ people, other don’t.

How can I support my loved one?

Finding information like on this website is a great first step to supporting your loved one. You have shown that you are open to new information and hopefully are better informed. Every young person needs different things from their family. Some parents find that they are better able to understand and support their child by recognizing the similarities and differences in experiences. You can support your loved one by educating yourself and others around you as much as possible about sexuality, gender and diversity.

Young people realize that LGBTIQ people are condemned by society. Even before they reach the kindergarten playground, they learn negative words for LGBTIQ people. Young people generally assume that all the people they know are heterosexual; they have no idea that some of the respected adults around them are LGBTIQ. Many LGBTIQ young people feel isolated and like they are the only person that feels like this. Some are harassed or abused by peers, family members, school & agency personnel and others. Whether or not they are labeled by others young people often;

  • Fear being discovered and expect rejection;
  • Carefully guard their feelings to maintain acceptance (or merely to survive);
  • Have no opportunity openly to date each other or flirt or engage in sexual experimenting like other teens; and
  • Lack of accurate and relevant information about their feelings and experiences.

Feeling marginalize or stigmatized in society can lead to some young people becoming depressed or even suicidal. In fact, research indicates that same sex attracted and gender diverse young people experience far higher rates of suicidal ideation and attempts, as well as other mental health related issues. This is a direct result of feeling isolated, rejected, marginalized and stigmatized.

Education about LGBTIQ people is an important step in being able to support young people and to prevent and reduce suicide and mental health issues. Avenues need to be created to help young people develop positive self-esteem and skills to deal with a sometimes hostile and usually challenging environment. These young people need;

  • Supportive opportunities to socialize with one another;
  • Resources that specifically address their concerns; and
  • Sensitive, non-judgemental help as they come to understand themselves.

Freedom Centre aims to meet these needs in the following ways;

 

  • Our safe social space for young people to hang out, meet others with similar experiences to theirs, and feel OK being themselves;
  • We provide accurate and relevant information through our website, email, phone, courses, community information stalls, and at the drop-in centre to both young people and their families, friends and professionals that support them.
  • We provide referrals to other LGBTIQ-friendly support services.

Check out our Support section or contact us for more info.