Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

Being a parent or carer is one of the most fantastic and rewarding things that we ever do, but without a doubt, it can also be one of the most difficult. Almost all parents will have times when they worry about their children and their own ability to support and guide their child.

This is certainly the case for the parents of children from a young age who are discovering their own sexuality which means they will be experiencing strong feelings and emotions, which can be both exciting and daunting. It is from a young age that they may question and discover their own sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation is who we are attracted to and is not a choice we make.

  • She/he/they may be heterosexual and attracted to people of the other sex.

  • She/he/they may be bisexual and attracted to people of both sexes.

  • She/he/they may be homosexual (often called lesbian or gay) and attracted to people of their own sex.

  • She/he/they may be asexual and feels no sexual attraction to people of any gender.

  • She/he/they may be transgender meaning someone whose gender differs from the one they were given when they were born. Transgender people may identify as male or female, or they may feel that neither label fits them.

  • She/he/they may be transsexual where she/he may not feel that they are the gender they were assigned and may have a strong desire to assume the physical characteristics and gender role of the opposite sex.

Whatever sexual orientation they are, they all deserve acceptance and respect for their feelings. At the same time you yourself may need support as a same-sex couple raising children and under external links we have added some organisations offering support. We have also pulled together some links to organisations that support both you as parents and your children in gender identity and sexual identification:

Stonewall – empowering and supporting individuals to make a difference.

  • Gendered Intelligence - As a parent, you may have understandable questions or concerns if you think that your child might be lesbian, gay, bi or trans. Stonewall have tried to answer some of the common ones.

  • Facebook – Visit the Facebook page for information on news and events.

  • YouTube – Stonewall video channel 

Terence Higgins Trust

  • Campaigns - Find ways to join in and raise awareness.

  • Sexual Health - Information on different aspects of sexual health.

You can also find lots of useful information through the links on this page regarding gender identity and sexual orientation, resources for parents and carers, homophobic bullying, domestic violence, parenting and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender issues, Local helplines and support groups and health support. Your young person can also find support in our Youthspace section.

Helpline Details

Victim Support - Reporting Centre for LGBT victims: 0808 168 9274

LGBT Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme in Buckinghamshire

A new domestic abuse disclosure scheme is being trialled for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community of Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks districts. 

LGBT clients using the existing Terrence Higgins Trust service to access the HIV and sexual health drop-in for information and advice will at the same time be able to disclose domestic abuse to the HIV and Sexual Health Practitioners in order to gain the support they need.

In the event of a disclosure of domestic abuse, staff will engage with the victim and assist them in booking an appointment with Wycombe Women’s Aid (for female victims) or SMART IDVA Service (for male victims) who will then meet the client at the Terrence Higgins drop-in centre or an alternative safe location at a time convenient and safe for the client. In addition, a Police LAGLO (Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officer) can be available at the drop in via an appointment basis regarding domestic abuse or other issues.

This service is available every Monday from 9:30am to 12:30pm and clients can either pop into the drop-in centre: Terrence Higgins Trust, Oasis House, George Street, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP11 2RZ, or call Terrence Higgins staff on 01494 520436.