Welcome to the Bristol Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Forum.
Lesbian Gay and Bisexual people are sometimes called LGBT people, for short, so we are often called the Bristol LGBT Forum.
Some questions and answers about the words we use here.
What does Lesbian mean?
A Lesbian woman is a woman who is attracted to other women. Sometimes lesbian women are also called “Gay women”.
What does Gay mean?
The word Gay means someone who is attracted to people who are the same sex as themselves, so it means a man who is attracted to men or a woman who is attracted to women.
What does Bisexual mean?
A Bisexual person is someone who is attracted to both men and women.
What does Transgender mean?
Trans-gender means someone who feels that they are in the wrong body, for example, it could be a man who feels as though he was supposed to be born a woman or a woman who feels that she was supposed to be born a man.
What does Straight mean?
A Straight person is someone who is attracted to people who are the opposite sex, so it means a man who is attracted to women or a woman who is attracted to men.
What does Homosexual mean?
The word Homosexual means someone who is attracted to people of their own sex; lesbians and gay men are homosexual.
Some questions about LGBT people
Do LGBT people have LGBT children?
No, and most LGBT people have “straight” parents, so this means that it is not something people get from their parents, like hair colour.
Can people be “turned” lesbian or gay?
No, nobody can decide who they become attracted to and nobody can tell their heart how to feel or who to fall in love with.
Is it against the Law to be LGBT?
No, in Great Britain the Law protects the right of all people to love who they want, but they must be over 16.
Can LGBT people get married?
Yes – LGBT people can have a Civil Marriage or a Civil Partnership, which is like getting married in a Registry Office. LGBT people can also have a marriage or a blessing in some churches, temples and other places of worship.
Do LGBT couples have the same rights as other couples?
Yes, there are two kinds of relationships:
- Common Law, which means that the couple are living together but are not married or in a civil partnership.
- Legal Partnerships, which means that the Law says a couple are married or civil partners.
Some questions about the Forum
What is a Forum?
A Forum is a place where people meet to talk, discuss and make decisions together. So, we are a place for LGBT people to come together and talk.
What does the Bristol Lesbian Gay and Bisexual Forum do?
We help LGBT people to meet, talk about problems and things that matter to them and speak out so their voices can be heard. We also speak to other people, to help them to understand and accept that LGBT people are just like everyone else.
Why do Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people need help?
Until recently Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people were treated as though we were bad or mentally ill. 1600 years ago it became illegal to be LGBT because it was believed to be against the will of God and a kind of mental illness. Nowadays this is not true anymore and most people understand that all human beings are unique and different. People come in different ages, sexes, sizes, shapes and colours. Some people have physical disabilities. Some people have learning difficulties. Some people believe in God and worship in one or another religion. Some people do not believe in God. Some people are Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual. Some people are Heterosexual. None of these things make a person bad or mentally ill.
Why do people call LGBT people names and get angry with them?
We don’t really know why. People can be horrible to each other for all sorts of reasons, call each other names and even get nasty.
If someone does this to you, try not to get angry with them or get into an argument or, worst, into a fight. Instead just keep yourself safe! Walk away and when you can, talk to someone you trust, like a parent, teacher, or support worker and explain what happened.
For more advice and help on friendships and relationships, you can visit Brandon Trust