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Sex, gender and sexuality

What does gay mean?

The word gay is most commonly used to describe people who are physically and romantically attracted to other people of the same gender (male or female). Simply put men who have sex with other men, and fall in love with men; and women who have sex with other women, and fall in love with women.

While the word gay is used for both men and women, gay is usually used to describe men while women are described as lesbians.

Sex, gender, and sexuality

Before we say more about sexuality (being gay) there are some basics we should cover first:

  • sex (assigned at birth)
  • gender; gender identity, and gender expression
  • sexuality

LGBT+ SPECTRUMThey are often lumped together though they are different parts of who we are.

The spectrum

Today’s younger 21st-century generation has a significantly different understanding of these issues than previous generations, embracing an evolving language that better describes who they are and how they feel.

Also, talking about sex, gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation can be daunting for those who were raised with a more fixed or narrower view of gender (a man or woman), sex (male or female), or sexuality (gay or straight).

"If you were born with a penis, society expects you to look, act and dress in one way, and if you were born with vulva, society expects you to be the opposite. Many people assume that the sex you were assigned at birth (eg: male) will determine your gender identity (man), your gender expression (masculine) and your sexual orientation and behaviour (straight). Men are supposed to be dominant, rational and providers while women are expected to be submissive, emotional and nurturing. That’s not for everyone! People identify in many ways—in between and outside of the categories of man/ woman, male/ female, masculine/ feminine and gay/ straight. Our lives are much more complex than the pink and blue boxes set by the gender binary." Send the Right Message

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