One parent reported feeling isolated in handling sex talks with her gay child. The study appears in the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy.
And, even if they did talk about sex and dating with their parents, the conversations were brief and focused exclusively on HIV and condom use. We need new research to give these parents the right answers.
Northwestern University. Search for: Science Health Culture Environment. This is often called " coming out.
STATISTICS AND DEFINITIONS
They feel comfortable about being attracted to someone of the same gender. But not everyone has the same good support systems. Even though there is growing acceptance for LGBT people, many teens don't have adults they can talk to about sexual orientation. Some live in communities or families where being gay is not accepted or respected. People who feel they need to hide who they are or who fear discrimination or violence can be at greater risk for emotional problems like anxiety and depression.
Some LGBT teens without support systems can be at higher risk for dropping out of school, living on the streets, using alcohol and drugs, and trying to harm themselves. Everyone has times when they worry about things like school, college, sports, or friends and fitting in. In addition to these common worries, LGBT teens have an extra layer of things to think about, like whether they have to hide who they are. This doesn't happen to all gay teens, of course.
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Many gay and lesbian teens and their families have no more difficulties than anyone else. For people of all sexual orientations, learning about sex and relationships can be difficult. It can help to talk to someone about the confusing feelings that go with growing up — whether that someone is a parent or other family member, a close friend or sibling, or a school counselor.
It's not always easy to find somebody to talk to. But many people find that confiding in someone they trust even if they're not completely sure how that person will react turns out to be a positive experience.
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In many communities, youth groups can provide opportunities for LGBT teens to talk to others who are facing similar issues. Psychologists, psychiatrists, family doctors, and trained counselors can help them cope — confidentially and privately — with the difficult feelings that go with their developing sexuality. They also help people find ways to deal with any peer pressure, harassment, and bullying they might face.
Whether gay, straight, bisexual, or just not sure, almost everyone has questions about physically maturing and about sexual health — like if certain body changes are "normal," what's the right way to behave, or how to avoid sexually transmitted infections STIs. Stand up for your child when he or she is mistreated.
Coupling up buffers gay, lesbian teens against bullying
Do not minimize the social pressure or bullying your child may be facing. Make it clear that slurs or jokes based on gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation are not tolerated. Express your disapproval of these types of jokes or slurs when you encounter them in the community or media.
It is important for them to know they are not alone. Celebrate diversity in all forms. Support your child's self-expression. Engage in conversations with them around their choices of clothing, jewelry, hairstyle, friends, and room decorations. Even if you are having trouble understanding your child's identity or feelings, not withdrawing from your role as a parent is probably one of the most important ways to help a child continue to feel a sense of being cared for and accepted.
Coming Out: Information for Parents of LGBT Teens
Feeling loved has been shown to be critical to overall health and development of all children regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Many parents do need their own supports to help them understand and cope with their own difficult emotions and concerns during a child's "coming out.
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Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Facts for Teens and Their Parents. Parenting a Gender-Diverse Child: Hard Questions Answered. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. Please enable scripts and reload this page. Turn on more accessible mode. Turn off more accessible mode. Skip Ribbon Commands. Skip to main content. Turn off Animations. Turn on Animations.
LGBT Youth | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health | CDC
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