Communication Tool

Everyone says that talking about sexuality is important—and it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Even adults have a hard time talking about it.

Sometimes you may not know what to say to your boyfriend or girlfriend, a health care provider, a parent or guardian or any other adult when it comes to sexuality and sexual health. How do you approach these topics? Sex, Etc. can help!

Sex, Etc.’s Communication Tool gives you a place to start what are hopefully ongoing conversations. Below you can choose who you want to talk to, what you want to talk about and what you might want to say. We’ll suggest some ways to start the conversation along with some ideas about what to discuss. These aren’t scripts you should read word for word, but the language covers important issues to communicate about. So find what works for you in the suggestions below, and make the language your own.

Clear and healthy communication can be a challenge, but we’re making it a little bit easier!

what do you want to say?

I am a lesbian, gay or bisexual.

I’m so glad we are friends. I feel like I can come to you when I can’t go to my parents/guardians. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who I am and how I identify. And I’ve realized that I’m a lesbian/gay/bisexual. This is who I am, and I want to be able to be myself.

Maybe this is hard for you to hear, or maybe you need some time to think about this. But it’s been really hard for me, too. Right now, I’m scared and nervous just thinking about how you’ll react. But you’re someone I trust, and I wanted to tell you. Your support is so important to me, especially since I’m not sure I can tell my parent(s)/guardian(s) just yet.

(You may not feel comfortable coming out to someone as lesbian, gay or bisexual because you may fear for your safety. That is OK. You should never feel like you have to come out to someone, especially if you fear for your health and well-being.)

I am trans.

I’m so glad we are friends. I feel like I can come to you when I can’t go to my parents/guardians. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who I am and how I identify. And I’ve realized that I’m transgender. Who I am physically—on the outside—isn’t the same as how I feel on the inside. I really feel more like a guy/a girl/that I don’t fit into a single category as a guy or girl. This is how I feel and who I am. I haven’t been able to be myself, but I want to be able to be me, which means being a guy/being a girl/not being one or the other in a way that feels right for me.

Maybe this is hard for you to hear, or maybe you need some time to think about this. But it’s been really hard for me, too. Right now, I’m scared and nervous just thinking about how you’ll react. But you’re someone I trust and respect, and I wanted to tell you. Your support is so important to me right now, especially since I’m not sure I can tell my parent(s)/guardian(s) just yet.

(You may not feel comfortable coming out to someone as trans because you may fear for your safety. That is OK. You should never feel like you have to come out to someone, especially if you fear for your health and well-being.)

I’m an LGBTQ ally.

We have a great friendship. I know I can talk to you about anything, even serious stuff. So, can I bring something up that’s been bugging me for a little while now?

I’ve noticed that you’ve been using the phrase “That’s so gay” a lot and making fun of transpeople. It really makes me uncomfortable when you say things like that. What you’re saying is hurtful and insulting to them. But it’s also hurtful to me, because there are lesbian, gay and transpeople that I care about.

When you call things “gay” that you really mean are “stupid” or “dumb” or you make fun of people who are transgender, it’s like you are saying that people who are LGBTQ are stupid or dumb. It’s homophobic and transphobic, and I wish you would stop.

If you really do think that people who are LGBTQ are stupid or dumb, then, well, maybe we need to rethink this friendship.

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