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Emotional Support: Gay and Lesbian Youth

Mindy Lawrence

Gay and Lesbian Youth
Mindy Lawrence

Many young people discover they are gay or lesbian when they are in their early teens or before. They are unsure how to proceed. Do they come out to their families and friends or stay “in the closet?’ If they stay in the closet, who can they talk to about their situation? If they DO come out, how will they be received? Amid all the other changes they are facing, young people have to deal with their own identity.

When some young people tell their families about their orientation they are rejected. Some are made to leave home. Some are sent to treatments designed to undo their “gayness.” Some fortunate ones are accepted. It’s not always known which decision their family will make. That outcome will impact a child’s life forever.

Many mental health professionals deal with gay and lesbian youth to help them establish a good footing in life. Some of the links below can help in making major decisions.

The list below helps to explain the terminology within the gay community:

Communities included in the “strong LGBTTTQQIAA” acronym

Based on Sexual Orientation

Based on Gender Identity/Expression
+ Agender
+ Bigender
+ Genderqueer
+ Gender Variant
+ Nonbinary
+ Pangender
+ Transgender
+ Transsexual


American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

LGBT Youth Resources, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Youth.Gov

The Cost of Coming Out, Lesley University



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