What makes people gay?
Their attraction to people of the same sex. Gay is an umbrella term for men who love men and women who love women and it can also mean the gay community. Attraction is as simple as who makes your heart flutter and is not something you can choose. People do not choose who they are attracted to and it is perfectly healthy and normal to have feelings for members of the same sex, the opposite sex, as well as both! At the Calgary Sexual Health Centre we believe that everyone is a sexual being with a sexual orientation from when they are born to when they die. Nobody knows what determines sexual orientation, and many argue it is offensive to search for a “cause” because that implies it is something to be fixed.
Is homosexuality genetic?
Many studies have been done and no conclusive evidence has been reported. Some people believe it is a mixture of environmental and biological factors. Others disagree. One thing we try to stay away from is this particular question; although it is very interesting it implies that there is something to find out so it can be ‘fixed’. One thing we do know is that the same percentage of people all throughout the world and time and history has had same sex attraction and that it is not a choice.
Are people gay because they have had bad experiences with the opposite gender?
There are many people who identify as GLBTQ who have never experienced sexual assault, just like there are some that have - just like everyone else, regardless of orientation. Sexual orientation is not caused by any sort of emotional trauma or sexual abuse. If every person who was a victim of emotional trauma or sexual assault was GLBT the statistics would be much higher.
What if you are undecided about your preferences? Is it okay?
It is definitely normal for a person to be questioning their orientation to be undecided. Sometimes figuring out a person’s orientation can be a long and confusing process for many reasons but there are many resources that can help. A person can check out their local GLBTQ resources, or call a help line. They can also talk to people they trust who they think will understand or give us a call! Also the word preference assumes that orientation is a choice, so we usually try to use the word orientation.
How do gay men or lesbians have sex?
Sexual activity or “sex” is a very broad word. Everyone has different activities they prefer to engage in and enjoy with themselves or a partner. Many gay men and lesbians enjoy kissing, touching, oral sex and other forms of foreplay. One misconception about gay men is that they all have anal sex. Many gay men do have anal sex, however some do not. It is important to think about all of the messages we get from the media about everything in our lives, from how we are supposed to look to how people have sex. Usually that message is a very heterosexist one, meaning that we look at sex as something that happens between a man and a woman as the “norm”. To challenge that belief means validating the fact that sex can happen between any consenting individuals regardless of gender.
Why would a same sex couple use birth control?
Everyone is able to make their own choices about if they use birth control or not and what kind they use. A same sex couple does not need to use birth control to prevent pregnancy in their relationship but they do need to protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections. There are many other reasons why someone could choose to use hormonal birth control other than for birth control. For example, some women take hormonal birth control to regulate their menstruation, to control their skin, because they want to or because they have other sexual partners.
If a man changes to a woman can she have children?
When a person challenges gender, they are called Transgender or Trans-Identified. In this case this individual does not feel that her gender assigned at birth matches who she is inside. It is really important to remember to respect the gender pronoun of a trans-identified individual. “It” is not usually a positive term to use – in this case ‘she’ would likely be the appropriate pronoun to use. Remember that even pro-nouns are self identifying and if you are not sure it is best to ask nicely. To answer the question, there is no way for someone who was born male that has transitioned to a female to have children. She can have surgery to look physically like the gender she embodies but would not have the physical capability to bear children.
How does sexual reassignment surgery happen?
It is a complex procedure with many stages.
1) A person would undergo Counselling and psychiatric evaluation.
2) After that a person will begin taking hormones. Those hormones will produce secondary sex characteristic effects like deepening voice, hair growth (face, body) for women hips round, breasts enlarge.
3) Then they must live as MTF or FTM for 2 years.
4) Then a person can choose surgery (if someone wants, some people do not get surgery). For a MTF her penis and testes are removed but without severing sensory nerves of the penis. A vaginal pouch and vulva can be created from the original genital tissues. An FTM surgery is more complex. He may have his breasts removed and his penis and testes can be created from skin from the genitals and forearm. After surgery he will not be capable of erection on his own so various devices (rods, pumps etc) are sometimes used to create an erection. Another option to create a penis is to extend the suspensory ligament of the clitoris, making it appear longer. Testosterone supplements increase clitoris size as well. It's important to remember that this is just a list of options. Not all people choose to have any one type of surgery or to use hormones.
and Gender Identity
Some people know they are gay early on while others recognize a strong attraction to same sex partners in their teen years or even later. Sadly, our society is still filled with messages that tell us who we are supposed to be.
In the past, people had to go to extremes to hide their feelings and pretend to be straight but things are changing in Canada and in many other places.Marriage has been legal for same-sex couples in Canada since 2006.
Unfortunately there is still a lot of hatred, fear and misunderstanding of people who find themselves attracted to people of the same sex, and a lot of education still needs to be done to shift people’s attitudes. The ability to love is one thing all of humanity has in common.
Almost everyone has had a crush at one point in their young lives. Maybe you were as young as 6, 8 or 10 years old. That initial feeling of attraction to another person is a universal experience but there are differences in how people express that feeling.