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LGBT Questions and Answers for Teen Boys

Should I come out? continued...

If you are putting yourself at risk, it is better to come out and reveal your sexual orientation rather than hide your true self. Despite the prejudice some gay people may experience, most people say they felt relieved, happy, and more confident after they came out.

Keep in mind, coming out doesn't mean telling everyone you know that you are gay. Start by telling someone you trust, someone who is understanding. It might be a friend, a sibling, a parent, or a teacher or counselor. Then, in time, as you become more comfortable with your sexual orientation, you can tell others.

Should I tell my parents?

Yes, if you feel confident in your decision and ready. Still, the answer to this question will depend on your relationship with them and how you think they will react.

Some parents may be more accepting than others. You know your parents best. If you think they will accept you, than yes, definitely tell them.

However, if you think your parents will not be accepting of your sexual orientation, it is probably better to wait. Talk to a close friend, sibling, or trusted adult, for example, a coach, uncle, or aunt instead.

If your parents are not supportive, give them time to think over what you tell them. If your parents continue to have a hard time accepting your homosexuality or gender identity, organizations such as Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) are available to help.

Will my friends and family reject me?

Unlike in the past, people today are more accepting of differences, particularly homosexuality. According to a 2013 poll by the Pew Research Center, 60% of Americans say society should accept homosexuality, compared with 49% in 2007.

Younger people are even more accepting of homosexuality than the general population. According to the Pew survey, 70% of Americans ages 18 to 29 say society should accept homosexuality.

Even so, there are many people who do not accept homosexuality. Many LGBT teens are taunted, humiliated, and bullied by their peers. It is important to know this so that you are prepared for whatever reaction you may get from your peers should you come out.

The teenage years are hard years, especially if you are struggling with your sexual orientation and gender identity. You are not alone, no matter how lonely you may feel.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kathy Empen, MD on October 08, 2013

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