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BE YOURSELF” a Pamphlet by Planned Parenthood Alberta



Being gay, lesbian or bisexual is a normal and healthy way to be.  It’s one more part of who you are – like being tall or short, black or white, Asian or Native, left-handed or right-handed.  It takes time to know who you are.  It’s okay to be confused, it’s okay to be unsure whether you’re gay or straight and it’s okay to take your time figuring it out.  There’s no need to rush.…At some point, almost everybody gets a ‘crush’ on someone of the same sex…Almost everybody’s ‘best friend’ is of the same sex.  This doesn’t mean that you are gay, lesbian or bisexual as other feelings are involved than just these.  One or two sexual experiences with someone of the same sex may not mean you’re gay, either – just as one or two sexual experiences with someone of the opposite sex may not mean you’re straight….Our sexuality develops over time.  Don’t worry if you aren’t sure.  The teen years are a time of figuring out what works for you and crushes and experimentation are often part of that.  Over time, you’ll find that you’re drawn mostly to men or to women – or to both – and you’ll know then….Telling friends and family AT THIS POINT is premature.  This is not to suggest being gay, lesbian or bisexual is something to be ashamed of and to hide (it isn’t) but our society doesn’t really understand homosexuality and, right now, you probably don’t need the hassle of dealing with any negative stuff that telling might bring. 


Think of it as a range or ‘sexual continuum’…Wherever you are on that continuum, you’ve got plenty of company….Ann Landers, the advice columnist, wrote: ‘It never ceases to amaze me that in this day and age, so many people fail to understand that homosexuality is not a lifestyle that is chosen.  That ‘choice’ was made at birth.’…If you’re gay, lesbian or bisexual, you’re going to run into prejudice.  Our society has a ‘heterosexual assumption’.  We’re taught – by our families, our schools, our religions and the media – to assume that everyone is straight and we’re often influenced to discriminate against those who aren’t.  That ‘assumption’ has begun to change only recently. 


– ‘BE YOURSELF: Q & As for Gay, Lesbian, Two-spirited and Bisexual Alberta Youth’

[a pamphlet by Planned Parenthood Alberta and PFLAG, referred to in a Calgary Birth Control Association presentation on homosexuality to my daughter’s Grade 10 class.]  PFLAG is the acronym for Parents For Lesbians and Gays.