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Teen Health

LGBT Teens and Stress

For lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender teens, stress is common. But it doesn’t have to be.
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Finding Support Makes All the Difference continued...

Unfortunately, D'Aguelli says, there are still plenty of areas where schools do not actively support LGBT students. And openly gay teachers, who could be both important resources as well as potential role models, are still relatively uncommon.

"For some people, especially in more isolated and conservative areas, the Internet may be the only option," D'Augelli says. "There are great web sites that are affirming and that provide excellent information, though admittedly it may not help you in math class in the middle of the day or while waiting at the bus stop."

Talk to Your Parents

Menvielle stresses the need to get your parents involved, especially if you are being actively harassed or intimidated.

"Parents need to intervene," he says. "Parents have to be advocates on behalf of their children."

It may be hard to talk with your parents, especially if you are worried that they will react negatively. But D'Augelli says that there is little evidence of parents rejecting their children because of their sexuality; in fact, he says, these days that conversation may be easier than in years past.

"An increasing number of adults know more gay people, and that makes a huge difference in how they react to gay people," he says. "When a son or daughter comes out, they don't assume that they are strange or abnormal. Instead, they see perfectly bright, acceptable people."

Better Times to Come

As tough a time as you may be having as you come to terms with your sexuality, know that life won’t always be so difficult. That’s the message that Menvielle says that teenagers need to understand.

"They are aware they are different, they are under pressure -- it's a very rough time of life," he says. "The teen years are the toughest, so hold on to the idea that things get better."

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Reviewed on August 26, 2011

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