Being Different is Okay
Transiting from childhood into teen age can be exciting yet a confusing journey as you discover the physical developments in your body and question your feelings and emotions. Puberty brings about a lot of hormonal changes and one may experience increased sexual feelings or even wonder whether they are in the right body. It takes time for many people to understand who they are what they are becoming.
Understanding your Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
These two terms can be quite overwhelming for any teenager. Sexual Orientation is how you are attracted to other people – to the opposite sex, to the same sex or to both sexes. Having romantic feelings towards the same sex and or both sexes identifies one as either a Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual. Gender Identity on the other hand is the internal sense of whether you are male or female. The feeling of being the opposite sex to what one is born with identifies them as Transgender.
Accepting who you are and being Confident
Some people are unable to understand what it is like to be LGBT. Some people tell terrible jokes and spreading rumors or adopt a bulling approach. This negative influence, can force some people to hide their true gender identity or wonder if they are normal. But all people have the right to feel good about themselves, so remember it’s okay to be yourself and it’s also okay to explore who you are. As you develop confidence in who you, and trust in those who support you, then there comes a time when opening up about it is natural. It isn’t easy to share your identity with just anyone, especially when fearing rejection and discrimination but talking to someone you trust, a close friend or family member or a LGBTI counsellor, will make it easy to open up. Talking to someone even if you are unsure of how they will react boosts your strength in looking at things positively.
Being LGBT in Fiji
Although it is quite difficult for some of the traditional groups and communities to accept LGBTI people or those who choose their preferred sex, sexual orientation and gender identity, the Fijian Constitution highlights equality of all and freedom from discrimination on these grounds. There are groups in Fiji who you can contact for support including Haus of Khameleon email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Fiji (679) 8311161. There are also groups such as Rainbow Pride and Men Fiji and most groups have facebook pages. Or call the Child Helpline on 1325 to chat with a counsellor.
So don’t let others suppress your difference, let your uniqueness shine bright!
LGBT – An acronym that coins sexual orientation and gender identity. L – Lesbian, G – Gay, B – Bisexual and T – Transgender. The acronym is sometimes extended to include IQ (intersex and Queer)
Homosexuality – Being attracted to the same sex, being Gay or Lesbian