Around 1 in 10 women are attracted to other women, or to both women and men. Around 1 in 10 men are attracted to men, or to both men and women. That can be difficult if you are religious or you grew up between 2 cultures.
What is what?
- Gay: you are a man and you mostly or always fall in love with men. You would also like to make love to a man.
- Lesbian: you are a woman and you mostly or always fall in love with women. You would also like to make love to a woman.
- Bi: sometimes you fall in love with a man, but sometimes with a woman. You think you’d like to make love to a woman, but also to a man.
A lot of people think that homosexuality is forbidden in the Bible, Koran and other holy books. Is that really the case? That's debatable. There are various interpretations of religious texts. According to one interpretation, homosexuality is forbidden, according to another there's nothing wrong with it.
In many cultures, there are negative ideas about homosexuality. When you have Surinamese, Turkish or Chinese roots, it is often taboo. If you as a woman came home with another woman, it would be out of place. Your parents and friends perhaps have preconceived ideas about lesbian women, gay men and bisexual people.
Accepting who you are
Are there negative ideas about gay men, lesbian women and bisexual people in your religion or culture? Then it is often difficult to accept who you are. You feel perhaps guilty or ashamed of yourself because of it. Don't just carry it around with you. Seek contact with other people in your situation or talk to someone you trust about it.
Sometimes you think you are the only one going through this. But that’s not true! Talking to other young people in your situation can be an enormous relief. Various organisations facilitate this. They usually organise things in such a way that your friends and family don’t find out.
Are you afraid of your family?
In some families, having homosexual feelings can be a problem. Maybe you are afraid your family will harm you or others.
Do you fear for your safety? Seek help:
- Emergency? Call 112.
- Talk to someone you trust. You could perhaps do this with a friend, family member, your mentor at school or college or a social worker.
- Call Ik vermoed huiselijk geweld on 0800-2000. This is an organisation in the Netherlands for anyone who has to deal with abuse or being threatened with abuse. It is a free 24/7 service.
- You can also call or email with Sense.