Traditionally, the term 'gay' refers to people who identify as men who date, sleep with and love only other people who also identify as men. Over the years, however, more and more people on the LGBT+ spectrum came to identify with the term; people of many gender identities and sexual orientations sometimes use it to describe themselves now. The controversy surrounding gayness has mostly to do with the fact that cis gay men are seen and portrayed very differently to many other LGBT+ people - and often wind up as the recipients of a huge amount of the acceptance, understanding, attention and publicity afforded to this group as a whole.
Originally the word was used to mean cheerful, carefree or bright and showy. The name has changed over the centuries to mean someone attracted to a person of the same sex.
Do you have to be male to be gay?
No, the term has been heavily used to describe men who are attracted to men but it can be used by any sex or gender, it depends on the person as to what they label themselves.
Am I gay if I fancy someone of the same sex?
Only if you identify that way. It might be that you’re predominantly straight (attracted to a person of the opposite sex) or maybe bisexual if you like guys and girls alike. Only you can decide.
Is gay sex risky?
Homosexual men are at the highest risk of catching HIV but if you use a condom, then this lowers the risk substantially and protects you from other STDs too. Otherwise sex with another gay person is as safe as having sex with a person of the opposite sex. Always practise safe sex!
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