Sexuality and gender identity

Peer support and conversations about anxiety, depression and other issues in the mental health space affecting LGBTQI+ people.

FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Pinned discussions

MsPurple LGBT+ members - got a question - need somewhere to start - here is the place
  • replies: 219

Welcome LGBT+ members and ally to the community. A few LGBT+ forum users have questions and concerns they can't a find a place to ask it here on the beyond blue forums so I thought starting a place for questions and more serious/heavy conversations H... View more

Welcome LGBT+ members and ally to the community. A few LGBT+ forum users have questions and concerns they can't a find a place to ask it here on the beyond blue forums so I thought starting a place for questions and more serious/heavy conversations Here you can ask questions about anything from questioning your sexuality/gender identity, coming out concerns, dating, mental health etc. If you are an ally (an Ally is a person who considers themselves a friend to the LGBTQ+ community) you are also welcome to come here to be a support to our community and ask questions as well. This is a supportive place for people to discuss their questions and concerns, we are not a place of judgement. As Thumper from the movie Bambi said "If you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all." If you are looking for a more social and light hearted conversation might I suggest joining us on the thread under BB social/rainbow cafe. Copy and paste the link: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/bb-social-zone/let's-chat-about-anything Feel free to introduce yourself below and ask any question/s I thought I'd answer one common question in the intro post and this is one I have heard a lot. What do the letters mean? When referring to the community it is shortened to LGBT+ as there are more letters than just the 4. I have put some of the common ones here: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Transsexual Two-spirited Queer Questioning Intersex Asexual Ally Pansexual Agender Gender Queer Welcome everyone and hope to see you around on this thread and around the BB forums MP

Chris_B IMPORTANT: Information and guidelines for posting in this section
  • replies: 0

The Sexuality & Gender Identity space is a sub-forum within the wider beyondblue forum community. 1. Its purpose is to provide people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer or questioning (LGBTIQ) a safe spa... View more

The Sexuality & Gender Identity space is a sub-forum within the wider beyondblue forum community. 1. Its purpose is to provide people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, queer or questioning (LGBTIQ) a safe space to talk about how issues relating to gender identity and sexual orientation impact on mental health and wellbeing. 2. This includes discussion of and support around chronic illnesses such as HIV which disproportionately affect gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. 3. As this is a safe and affirming space for LGBTIQ individuals, please note this is not an appropriate space for debating the "rights and wrongs" of homosexuality, bisexuality, or gender fluidity itself. This includes use of terms such as "lifestyle" and "choice". 4. This sub-forum is and always will be a safe and supportive place for LGBTIQ people concerned with what we all need to do to stay well. That said, others are welcome provided they respect that this is primarily a LGBTIQ space. 5. If you do not identify as LGBTIQ, or are not currently supporting someone in your life who is LGBTIQ, and are curious about aspects of sexuality or gender identity, please read through beyondblue’s resources for and about LGBTIQ people here to educate yourself rather than posting in this section.

All discussions

sbella02 How did you realise you were LGBTQIA+?
  • replies: 21

I've always replied to threads but never created one myself, so here goes. I have many queer friends, and I love hearing their stories about how and when they realised their sexuality. So I'm opening up the question to people: if you're comfortable s... View more

I've always replied to threads but never created one myself, so here goes. I have many queer friends, and I love hearing their stories about how and when they realised their sexuality. So I'm opening up the question to people: if you're comfortable sharing, when did you first realise you were part of the LGBTQIA+ community? I went to an all-girls school and never really had any contact with boys until I was about 14/15, but I never thought that experiencing attraction to girls was possible for me. When I was probably about 11 or 12, I remember that there was one girl in my class who was new, and I just really wanted to be her friend for some reason. I couldn't explain why, but I just really wanted her to like me and be friends with me. I've now recognised that this is a common experience for closeted queer women. It wasn't until I was 16 when I first started experiencing feelings towards a girl. I kept asking myself "is this a crush? these are feelings that I usually have towards boys, why am I feeling this towards a girl?". It was a strange time for me as I slowly came to realise that maybe, just maybe, I wasn't straight. I ended up coming out a year or two later to my sister, who is also queer. We had never really discussed our feelings towards the LGBTQIA+ community so didn't know how each other would react. But when one of us expressed our feelings, it was quite a pleasant surprise when the other one did too. I have since become quite open about my bisexuality. I have a little rainbow in my Instagram bio, I have many queer friends and we all like sharing in our attraction towards hot celebrities and our similar queer experiences. It's interesting that since I've immersed myself in the community, I've become quite enamoured with queer experiences, so much so that I intend to carry this passion into my career, and pursue it as a potential research avenue. I would love to work with children and adolescents in future, and to be able to be an advocate specifically for LGBTQIA+ children and teens would be so fulfilling. What's your experience of realising your identity? What's your story of coming out? I'd love to hear from fellow Beyond Blue LGBTQIA+ people. SB

Riggybee Questioning
  • replies: 4

Hi I'm 15 yo girl and really struggling with my sexuality. For the last year I've noticed being attracted to girls, and in early primary school I had a crush on a girl, but before now only liked boys and am still awkward around them. I'm really into ... View more

Hi I'm 15 yo girl and really struggling with my sexuality. For the last year I've noticed being attracted to girls, and in early primary school I had a crush on a girl, but before now only liked boys and am still awkward around them. I'm really into LGBT books and films as well. I can't imagine being with a guy but not sure if I'm a lesbian? I'm really anxious/confused about whether I'm just 'experimenting' or actually like woman and don't know what to tell my parents and friends. Is there a subtle way to come out? Help!

Newbie25 First girlfriend (lesbian) and I'm confused
  • replies: 4

This is the first time I've posted something, so please be nice. I struggled a lot with my sexuality this year (I'm 16) and have accepted that I'm queer. I recently came out to my family, and my mum said that I can't identify as queer. To me, queer m... View more

This is the first time I've posted something, so please be nice. I struggled a lot with my sexuality this year (I'm 16) and have accepted that I'm queer. I recently came out to my family, and my mum said that I can't identify as queer. To me, queer means 'not straight' but she didn't like it. I understand where she is coming from but it still hurts. I've also kinda got a girlfriend (I'm female) and we met through a school program. We are the same age, but don't get to see each other often as we don't go to the same school. We have been texting everyday for the past 3 weeks and I've really been enjoying it. I told her I liked her over text weeks ago and she said she felt the same. It got pretty flirty and she asked me out. We hung out at the park for hours and at first it was kinda awkward as we hadn't seen each other since we said we had feelings. We started playing chess and other fun games and we flirted and had a great time. I was still feeling like there was so much unsaid, it didn't really feel like a date, just two friends hanging out. I was too scared to make the first move and mention anything. We said goodbye and that was it. My first kinda date with a girl. For a few days after that it felt really weird. We were still texting, but I felt we had lost our groove. I keep overthinking things which isn't new but it's getting worse, especially with her. I had to tell myself that she really does like me but I was starting to question my feelings for her. I don't know why I feel so insecure about her. Usually I feel super confident around people I like, at least boys. I still feel nervous, but not insecure. Is it because she's my first girlfriend? Then things started to click again and we decided to watch a movie at the cinemas. Once again, leading up to this I started getting super nervous and anxious about everything. The only time I wouldn't question my feelings was when I was texting her. We met early at the cinemas today to play in the arcade beforehand and I felt really awkward again. We didn't hold hands, kiss or even hug the whole date and I'm pretty sure I wanted to. I just didn't know how to. This is the first proper relationship for both of us and I don't think we have any idea how to make it work. I haven't even looked at her messages after the movie because I don't know what to say. Should I tell her how I feel? What if all the awkwardness is in my head and saying something will make it worse in real life? Help! I'm really freaking out!

Trans22 Blaming the victim (myself)
  • replies: 4

This post probably belongs in Trauma & PTSD thread but that space may not be safe for people like me.I've sought help from many mental health professionals, since Jun-2022, in relation to my complex trauma & CPTSD. I've heard many comments/suggestion... View more

This post probably belongs in Trauma & PTSD thread but that space may not be safe for people like me.I've sought help from many mental health professionals, since Jun-2022, in relation to my complex trauma & CPTSD. I've heard many comments/suggestions along the lines of "stop blaming yourself" or "shame & guilt are the wrong emotions". In my case, every element of external trauma in my life can be traced back to my being born different - my "abnormal" sexual biology & my being a trans girl/woman. I will note that the former has led to my experiencing passing privilege before HRT (someone described this as a "trans god-roll"), but it doesn't even come close to making up for 4 decades of trauma & exclusion. There is no doubt that I failed at boy/man and my body failed at male. I've recently discovered that I also failed at sexuality (the AroAce label seems to fit me).Does anyone have any success stories to share that might help me (to stop blaming myself)?

RedGracie My Husband has Gender Dysphoria
  • replies: 9

A year ago my husband told me he likes to wear woman’s cloths. He kept this secret from me for 9 years and I know it was hard for him to tell me and he felt ashamed but I felt and still feel so betrayed that he kept this from me. At the time I asked ... View more

A year ago my husband told me he likes to wear woman’s cloths. He kept this secret from me for 9 years and I know it was hard for him to tell me and he felt ashamed but I felt and still feel so betrayed that he kept this from me. At the time I asked all the questions; are you gay? Do you want to me female? Etc he answered no to both. A month ago he tells me he is now confused about his gender and as of last week has gender dysphoria. He’s going to counseling to try to figure everything out. I do want him to be happy but I don’t know how to deal with this. We hardly talk, no intimacy for over a year and can barely look at each other. I can’t carry on like this. He says he still loves me but I think that’s more of a familiar love than as someone should love a wife. And I don’t love him like a husband now, I can’t love a man who doesn’t know if he wants to be a man now. He’s changed so much and is not the person I married. Im at a total loss of what to do, if we split up there’s finances and pets. If we stay I am in a loveless marriage to a man who can’t touch me and I need to feel wanted as selfish as that may sound. I’ve considered breaching open marriage with him but I don’t know how to say this. Everything is so messed up, I feel alone with no one to talk to. It can’t carry on like this. If anyone has been through this or has any advice I would appreciate it more than you realise.

Guest_68072773 What do you all think?
  • replies: 1

Here is a timeline of what I've experienced over the past few months Late december: On a call with a friend and we are talking and playing online games and I say "don't f*** with me" as we were playing FPS games (first person shooter games) and I hea... View more

Here is a timeline of what I've experienced over the past few months Late december: On a call with a friend and we are talking and playing online games and I say "don't f*** with me" as we were playing FPS games (first person shooter games) and I hear is brother (who was my best friend) say that in a very low voice "I would". This disturbed me and I started to think does he like me? I've always been a religious person who was conservative values, especially at my age. And I start to think "am I into him?" And that persisted over 2-3 weeks and I avoided him when school started and the thought went away. And the thought of me being attracted to him made me feel yucky and really disturbed so this is how I knew I wasn't gay or anything of that nature. Mid febraury: (Gotten past over the events of december but still avoiding this person) My brother and I contract covid and we isolate for 4 days. I remember talking to him one night and the topic of my crush (who I've like for over 1 year) came up and how my friends were calling me "gay" because I couldn't speak to that girl. I went to sleep questioning whether or not I am gay. Late march: Been suffering constant intrusive thoughts about "whether or not I am gay". At this point I've practically ghosted my friends that called me gay. I'm on this chat with friends and friends of mutual friends and there is this one particular person of the same sex who has opened up to me in the past about his feelings for me and (idk if this was the right response or not) I rejected him and didn't think squat about it. Now I see him message all of a sudden and this feeling of doubt and stress fills me. I've been in this chat with him for around a few weeks and this never happened and (I wish I was never there) now I feel this weird feeling whenever I see him. It's like the feeling of attraction but instead of the happiness and joy that I feel towards this crush of mine I feel a sense of dread and shame. Ontop of this weird feeling of attraction like this one and the one from february I feel my attraction to my crush and the opposite sex fade away, and only in rare moments do I feel strongly attracted to my crush. I develop the same feelings towards a few of my male friends (like the one I explained above) but it goes away over the course of day/s or week/s. April: Shit hits the fan. I still feel these feelings, I still get the intrusive thougths of whether or not I am gay or am I in denial all that stuff. I suffer a panic attack.

Guest_78557685 Feeling lost
  • replies: 1

I’m a gay male I had a friend who was straight he was my best mate we shared secrets together and were always there for one another but also had a little fun on the side. Recently he’s mates found out that he were best friends and found out that ther... View more

I’m a gay male I had a friend who was straight he was my best mate we shared secrets together and were always there for one another but also had a little fun on the side. Recently he’s mates found out that he were best friends and found out that there was stuff happening between us now every one knows he’s gone and told everyone that our friendship was all base on lies and he was only my friend because I was blackmailing him. None of this is true I’m heart broken I know our friendship was real for him to say what he has said has really taken a big impact on my mental health he as also gone to the police because I just wanted to know the truth and now the police have placed an advo against me I feel lost I haven’t been to work since this has happened I just don’t know what to do all I want to do is talk to the guy he was my best friend and now I feel like I have no one

Winesue Coming out advice needed, scared as to what the consequences will be.
  • replies: 6

I (Male, 19) want to come out and start looking for a partner of the same sex. I “found out” I was bisexual when I was 16 and more or less accepted I wasn’t straight when I was 18. I went to a mostly Christian school, grew up in a mostly Christian fa... View more

I (Male, 19) want to come out and start looking for a partner of the same sex. I “found out” I was bisexual when I was 16 and more or less accepted I wasn’t straight when I was 18. I went to a mostly Christian school, grew up in a mostly Christian family, and as a result, many of the people in my life that I am close with are both very religious and straight. I have wanted to come out for the better part of a year now, especially since starting university, but I’m extremely worried that my friends and family will either be hurt by it, or socially ostracise me.Several of my friends have begun dating and are directly asking me why I’m so awkward about looking for a partner. My fear is that they would not accept me if I got together with a guy, meaning I would loose people who genuinely mean the world to me. I already have a pretty rocky relationship with most of my family for reasons I don’t want to get into here, and I’m genuinely scared me coming out would be the killing blow of me being a part of their lives. At the same time however, I’m really eger to start dating and feel like I’m denying myself something I need in order to make other people happy (not helped by work and my uni workload).I should probably also mention that I’ve never told or even hinted that I’m bisexual to anyone. Everyone, including my Mum, is under the assumption that I’m straight and just burying myself in work and study (the study part is partially true lmfao). I have this fear that they think I should have “figured out what I like by now” and that they would be shocked or dismissive of me contradicting that internal head-cannon.I’m at a complete loss as to what to do, hoping some people here have had similar experiences and can help me rationalise all this.

Miilo My husband now thinks he wants to be a female.
  • replies: 29

Hi everyone. I found this forum yesterday and I would like to get some advice for my situation. I've been married for 10 years and two young children, living happily before my husband started taking counselling due to his growing up background. I hav... View more

Hi everyone. I found this forum yesterday and I would like to get some advice for my situation. I've been married for 10 years and two young children, living happily before my husband started taking counselling due to his growing up background. I haven't expected anything with his counselling but one day he came to me he found out he has some gender identity issue. He then referred to hormone specialist and having a couple of appointments so far. One day, he came home with some tablets the doctor gave him which contain female hormone in them. The one is acne remedies and the other one is estrogen. When I talked to him what he would like to be in the future, but he keeps saying he is not sure, but as soon as I saw the tablet, I thought he want to be a female. I was shocked. He also found that he has Asperger syndrome around same time he found issue with gender identity, so after I was told I started depression and sleepless night from then. I had some phone counselling for myself because this is going to be a big challenge for both of us, and I need to make sure about my children too. My counselor told me I can't make any decision for him, so all I can do is relax and live a daily life for now which was make sense. I want to respect his decision but at the same time, I sometimes think if I should leave him. The reason I think that way is this situation is definitely not I was expected and it's kind of sad I can't have romantic relationship with loving husband anymore. It seems like it's all ended. (I'm mid thirty anyway.) I find sometimes difficult to communicate with him but he is gentle and nice person. It looks like my daily life filled with happiness is collapsed and now I'm in the darkness ALONE with a big secret I have to keep inside of me. These days, I noticed he started shaving his body and I found an epilator in his room. Yes, he is moving forward without letting me know. I have no courage to talk about this topic right now because I am afraid to find out more things which will make me a shock again. I don't want to tell this to my parents, friends or children just yet because I am not ready to talk. Because of this COVID situation, my children are staying home everyday even when I feel like to be alone thinking about these things but they never allow me to do so. I want to be a good mother smiling in the house but these days, it's just hard and feeling down. Anyways, I would like someone to connect in the same boat if it's possible. Thanks.