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    LGBT Questions and Answers for Teen Boys

    Why am I like this? Can I avoid being gay?

    There are many factors that contribute to a person's sexual orientation. These include biology, environment, hormones, and emotions. Homosexuality is not caused by poor parenting or sexual abuse.

    Most experts agree that a person's sexual orientation cannot be changed. Still, many homosexual or bisexual people choose to live a heterosexual lifestyle, despite their feelings. Usually, this is to avoid prejudice against homosexuality.

    Should I come out?

    Hiding your sexual orientation, or pretending to be someone you are not, can be painful and lonely. Such pain can harm your self esteem and lead to destructive behaviors.

    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.

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