Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender

Being attracted to someone of the same sex, a different sex or both is not unusual. Many people both old and young will at some point find themselves wondering… who am I? who am I attracted to? Who do I really fancy? This is ok!
Being lesbian, gay or bisexual isn’t a choice, it is the way someone feels inside and that is natural to that person. It can take time to work out who we are attracted to and what we might or might not want to do about it. Anyone who pressures you to act might not have your best interest at heart. Only do what you want when you are ready! It is thought that anywhere between 5-15% of the UK population are lesbian, gay or bisexual so you are not alone. All sexual health services are inclusive and will work with people of all sexualities. If you are a man having sex with men, then you might need particular sexual health advice. If you are a woman having sex with women, then the support and advice you need is different again. When you speak to a sexual health worker, let them know about the sort of sex you are thinking about having or are having.
If you want to know more about getting support, talking to someone else who might be lesbian, gay, bisexual or who is questioning their sexuality then call: Karen or Emily on 07917 587941 who run a local group in Torbay called ‘Pride’.  For young people outside of Torbay or for general advice contact The Intercom Trust opens in a new window who work all over the South West.

Transgender

Gender identity is the sense or belief that "I am male" or "I am female". Being transgender is having a sense that your sex does not match your gender; i.e. a woman or girl feels that ‘I am a male’ or that a boy or young man feels that ‘I am a female’. This can sometimes be called ‘Gender Dysphoria opens in a new window’. There are people who can help and there are people you can talk to.  These include The Intercom Trust opens in a new window or the Mermaids opens in a new window organisation.
It is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their gender identity or their sexual orientation. Bullying is not ok. If you want to talk to someone about this, many of the listed Sexwize services have staff that can support you and who will treat you as an individual whatever your gender or sexual orientation. Gender has no bearing over sexuality. Some boys who were girls like girls, some boys who are boys like boys, some girls that were boys like girls and boys… it can seem complex, but what matters is what you feel, what you think and what you do. Wait until you are ready.
Being a male is ok, being a female is ok. Being trans is ok. Wondering about your gender identity is ok. Wondering about your sexuality is ok. Bullying, name calling, sending nasty messages or saying nasty things to others because of someone’s sexuality or gender identity (whether it is true or not) is not ok. Torbay is full of diverse people and we like it like that!  If you think you might be being bullied, you should talk to someone you trust about it.  You could also make an appointment with any of the staff at Torbay Sexual Medicine Service (TSMS), by ringing 01803 656500.
Whatever your sexual orientation, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are often affected by the same sexual health issues as heterosexual (straight) men and women.  Regardless of your sexual preferences, all sexual health services and professionals will provide you with the same level of help and support, and coming out to staff may help them to understand your specific circumstances.  All sexual health services thought Torbay are confidential. This means that they won’t tell anyone about your conversation with them, unless you give them permission to.
The TSMS is able to provide a full range of sexual health services, and advice.  To contact the service and make an appointment please call 01803 656500, or see a member of the outreach team in your school or college.

Sexual Health

Gay, lesbian or bisexual people are affected by the same sexual health issues as hetrosexual (straight) men or women.
Regardless of your sexual preference all sexual health services and professionals will provide you with the same level of help and support and coming out to staff may help them to understand your specific circustances. All sexual health services throughout Torbay are confidential.
The sexual medicine service are able to provide a full range of sexual health services, as well as a range of information and advice.
Below, you will also find some useful information on looking after your sexual health:

Lesbian

Women who have sex with Women
Many women think there is no risk of getting sexually transmitted infections when having sex with another woman. In fact the risk of infections such as herpes, Chlamydia, and genital warts is high if your partner has an infection and bodily fluids are exchanged. HIV rates are lower in women but women shouldn’t get complacent about safer sex.
There a few simple ways you can reduce the risk:

Gay

Men who have sex with men

What to do if you might have been at risk of HIV infection (PEP)

PEP is a course of HIV medication which you can take if you have been at risk of HIV infection. The course of HIV medication lasts 28 days and, if taken within 72 hours of putting yourself at risk, may be able to prevent you from becoming infected with HIV.
PEP stands for Post Exposure Prophylaxis - in other words it is a form of protection (against HIV) that you can take after you have taken a risk or had a condom break on you.
You can get PEP at the Sexual Medicine Service. You can also PEP from Accident and Emergency departments when other services are closed.

Further Information and Advice

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