It’s perfectly OK and very common to question your identity during your teenage years. Teens continually ask themselves, “Who am I?” and “Why am I who I am?” and also “What do I think?” and “Why do I think what I think?” Essentially, adolescence is a discovery of the self.
For many youth, the issue of sexual orientation is a part of this discovery of self. Sexual orientation refers to the direction of a person’s attraction — in other words, discovering whether you are attracted to women, men, or both. Current science suggests that sexual attraction is biologically predisposed. Also, it seems that people cannot change their sexual orientation.
Many people seem to struggle either accepting their own sexual orientation, or another person’s. If you would like to talk with someone about sexual orientation, please contact The Trevor Project at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).
Don’t be ashamed of who you are.
Websites to Visit
Check out these websites for more information about sexuality issues:
Sexual Orientation (Source: David Myers, Ph. D.):
- Recent polls suggest that 3-4% of men and 1-2% of women are homosexuals.
- Personal values affect sexual orientation less than they affect other forms of sexual behavior.
- A women’s sexual orientation tends to be less strongly felt and potentially more flexible than men’s.
- Gays and lesbians suffer elevated rates of depression and risk of suicide attempts, likely resulting from bullying, harassment, and discrimination.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Youth Issues (Source: SIECUS):
- About 48% of self-identified gay and bisexual college students become aware of their sexual preference in high school, while 26% find their sexuality in college.
- Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are more than three times as likely to have attempted suicide in the past 12 months.
Coming Out Against Homophobia (Source: NOW):
- Students who describe themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered are 5 times more likely to miss school because of feeling unsafe. About 28% are forced to drop out.
- The vast majority of victims of anti-lesbian/gay violence – possibly more than 80% – never report the incident, often due to fear of being “outed.”
- About 42% of homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.