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Sexuality, sexual and romantic orientation, and coming out

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Sexual vs. romantic orientation

‘Sexuality’ describes the whole way a person expresses themselves as a sexual being. Romantic orientation describes any preference they may have towards the gender(s) of romantic partner they choose.
The way we choose to behave sexually and romantically is both individual and complex - it rarely falls into simple labels. While labels might be restrictive to some, others might find validation from finding an identity.

Types of sexual and romantic orientation

All sexual and romantic orientations are natural and valid. They are all on the spectrum as well. Common sexualities:
1. Heterosexual
2. Homosexual
3. Bisexual
4. Pansexual
5. Asexual
Common romantic orientations:
1. Heteroromantic
2. Homoromantic
3. Biromantic
4. Panromantic
5. Aromantic

Coming out

Choosing when to come out, and to who, is a personal decision - there is no right or wrong.
Some may think it's not safe for them to come out. This can be due to:
• Attitudes/ beliefs of those around them
• Legal situation in the location that they live, work or study in

Coming out to yourself

• This can occur at any stage of your life
• Many people still experience discrimination and hence, coming out to yourself can still be a very scary one
• It can be more distressing if your family/ wider community is not positive towards the community

Coming out to others

1.

Find a source of community

2.

Identify advocates of the LGBTQ+ community - you might want to come out to them first

3.

Decide who you would like to come out to

4.

Choose your medium of coming out: in person/ phone/ text/ writing a letter

5.

Avoid feeling pressured/ rushed

6.

People's viewpoints about your sexuality may not be fixed

7.

Try not to be too upset by an initial poor reaction

8.

You're not responsible for others' reactions

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