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By Oscar Chemiak

I was surprised by Sandi's initial intolerance toward gay, lesbian and bisexual lifestyles. I know Sandi has his areas of naivety, but sometimes, I just shake my head. I guess like all prejudices, Sandi's reaction to the whole gay/lesbian/bisexual issue was based on ignorance. It's easy to fear something we don't understand or have no exposure to. Before you make a judgement call, it's important to have all the facts and understand what you're talking about - every good reporter knows that and every good human as well.

What does it mean to be 'gay'?

Homosexual:

Gay Term used to define a man who is sexually oriented to the same sex – man being physically and sexually attracted to another man.

Lesbian Term used to define a woman who is sexually oriented to the same sex – woman being physically and sexually attracted to another woman.

Bisexual:

Having a sexual orientation to either sex. To be attracted sexually to both men and women.

Okay, so now you know what it means to be gay, you know, technically, as in the words associated with the deed. But how do you know if you personally are gay? This is something that a lot of teens worry about, as they're developing into their sexual selves. Whether you are straight or gay isn't a choice, it's just the way you are. We all have different things that we just instinctively like and dislike. Sexuality is no different. Some people are attracted to the same sex, some to the opposite sex and some to either sex.

If you're wondering if you might be gay, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you often attracted to members of the same sex?
  • Do you frequently have sexual fantasies about members of the same sex?
  • Do you feel that there are just some ways that you don't fit in with your peers – you may love the same music, clothes and bands, but when the conversation turns to talking about crushes, you just don't have a lot to say?
  • Do you feel bored or 'not into' dates with the opposite sex?
  • Have you ever suspected that you might be gay, lesbian or bisexual?

Of course, this test is not a guaranteed way of determining your sexuality – let's fact it, we all feel certain things for certain people at different times in our lives – that's okay. However, if you found that you answered 'yes' to most of these questions and that you feel these feelings more often than not, you may be gay, lesbian or bisexual. If you are gay, remember, you are not alone, millions of people are gay and although it's not easy to be open about being gay and people are not always accepting, there are support systems out there for young people. No matter what some peoples attitudes are, times are changing and people are more educated and open about sexuality and what are often viewed as 'alternative' lifestyles. Be true to yourself, because you are the one you have to live with!

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