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What does gay mean?

Gay is now a standard term for ‘homosexual’, and is the term preferred by most homosexual men to describe them. Lesbian is the usual term for a homosexual woman.

Homosexual is defined as a person who is sexually attracted to people of their own sex.


What makes someone a gay man?

Nothing actually makes a gay man gay, sexuality can not be defined.  There is not one thing that makes you gay or straight.  No one actually knows why some men are attracted to other men.  In the end it’s not a problem – it doesn’t matter what caused it – it’s living with it that’s important.

Is it wrong to be a gay man?

No it is not wrong to be a gay, just the same as it is not wrong to be lesbian, bi, transgender, or straight.  Sexuality should not make you wrong; life is all about being the person you want to be.

What is homophobia?

Homophobia is the term given to people who have a fear of, aversion to, or discriminate against homosexuality or homosexuals. It can also mean disapproving of homosexual people, their lifestyle, their sexual behaviour, or culture.

Why does homophobia still exist?

Homophobia still exists as it is created by people’s views and misunderstanding of what a homosexual person is.  By educating and changing these views we can reduce homophobia.  

Eight myths about gay men

1. It is just a phase / Being gay or straight is a choice

Many people believe that being gay is just a phase or you can choose your sexuality. This is untrue you do not decide your sexuality it is part of you as a person.

2. Gay men are unhappy, mentally ill or unhealthy

No, this is untrue.  Being unhappy, mentally ill, or unhealthy can happen no matter what your sexuality is.

3. All Gay Men Are Feminine

Many people see gay men as feminine, however this is untrue.  As with the mannerisms of heterosexuals, the degree of masculinity varies amongst gay men.  The gay community is as diverse as any community in the World.

4. I’m an attractive straight man, gay men will just want to sleep with me

Why?  There may be a few gay men who would try however they are in the minority.  If a gay man knows you are straight or do not want sex they are not going to try to sleep with you. 

5. Gay men do not have relationships they just have random sex

There are many gay couples out in the UK and the World.  Many of whom are extremely happy being in a relationship.  Yes, there are a few gay men who prefer just having sex, however this is the same be it lesbian, bi, transgender, or straight people.

6. Gay Men Can't Get Married or Have Children

One of the biggest fears for many families is that their gay loved ones are condemned to a life alone without children.  In the UK we are moving toward equal treatment which can be seen from the recent Civil Partnerships.  There is also nothing stopping gay men having children or adopting children within the UK.

7. Gay men will try to convert me into the gay lifestyle

Gay men are not out to convert you. There are plenty of gay men in the World already.

8. AIDS and HIV is a gay mans disease

Although there are many misconceptions about AIDS and HIV these are based on a lack of understanding and fear. AIDS and HIV can be caught by any person who puts themselves at risk, so therefore can not be just a gay mans disease.

Gay men and sex

Whoever has sex should do it safely; you are only at risk if you are not careful.  The general rule is not allowing blood, semen, or vaginal fluids to pass from one person's body to another's.

Therefore …
… for oral sex:
Use dental dams, and flavoured condoms!
… and penetrative sex:
Use condoms and lube!

It is also a good idea to get checked out at a GUM or Sexual Health Clinic if you think you may have caught an STI.  It is far better to get checked out sooner and get treatment rather than wait as this could make it worse.

See our male sex guide for more information.

Do gay men have rights?

Over the years the LGBT community has a whole has started to be treated equally in society and within UK laws and legislation.  There are many examples of these:

Even though many rights have been granted to gay men and the LGBT community as a whole there are still areas in which gay men and the LGBT community are not equally treated.

It important to continue campaigning for equal treatment, gay men do not want to be treated differently, they just want to be equal.  See our campaigns section for more information on AberPride’s campaigns.

Coming Out
Staying Safe
Lesbian FAQ
Trans FAQ
Male Safe Sex Guide
Female Safe Sex Guide
Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Your Rights at Work
Help Lines
LGBT History
Other University LGBT Group

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