Sex Talk

Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Issues

Q from a Male, Senior student at UConn: What or who can people turn to when they are having problems coming out as gay or lesbian or just need support?

A: Unlike some other minority groups, the university does not have a person officially appointed to deal specifically with gay/lesbian issues. However, most counseling centers provide services for "sexual issues" - which include orientation. In addition, if you are interested in talking with other gay/lesbian students, contact your campus gay/lesbian organization, which provides a number of supportive, educational, and social activities.

Q from a Male, Junior student at Emory U: As a gay student, I'm tired of hearing people assume everyone is straight. It makes it hard for me to "come out" and tell anyone about who I am - even to my friends. At times, I feel isolated and left out. Are people so narrow-minded that they don't think anyone is gay or are they just homophobic?

A: It's hard to say what might be going on. Heterosexism, the assumption that everyone is or should be heterosexual, is a prevalent bias in our culture; homophobia is defined as an intense dislike or fear of gay men and lesbian women, as well as the fear of being perceived as homosexual. I would not assume that your friends are intentionally meaning to alienate you. It may be that they are not aware of what you view as their heterosexism. If you feel comfortable, I encourage you to talk with your close friends about this. I also suggest you get in touch with the gay/lesbian/bi student group. They may be able to offer you the support you are looking for.

© 2010, Sandra L. Caron

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It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover. - Marge Piercy

American teens have the worst of all worlds...Our children are bombarded and confronted with sexual messages, sexual exploitation, and all manner of sexual criticism. But our society is by and large sexually illiterate. Faye Westheimer

Dr. Sandra L. Caron is a professor of human sexuality at the University of Maine. To submit a question to Dr. Caron or chat with your peers visit Got a question for Dr. Caron? Visit and ask away! Get a guaranteed personal and confidential response to your question: or E-Mail

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