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Homosexuality: Teen Version

What is homosexuality?

Sexual orientation is a pattern of romantic and sexual attraction to men, women, or both. You may be attracted to:

  • The same sex (homosexual)
  • The opposite sex (heterosexual)
  • Both sexes (bisexual)

As a teen, you explore sexuality and learn about yourself. Sometimes your feelings about who you’re attracted to can be confusing. Many teens are attracted to people of the same sex during puberty. Having feelings about or even having sex with a person of the same sex doesn’t mean that you are homosexual. It can take time for your sexual orientation to become clear. Whether it’s heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, it’s important to know that it’s normal.

What issues does it cause?

During your teen years, you will spend a lot of time trying to decide who you are, what values you believe in, and what you want to do in life. It is a time to start deciding for yourself what is right and wrong.

However, gay teens face other issues as well. You may worry how your family members and friends will react and feel that you have no one to talk to. Some parts of society and many families have a hard time accepting homosexuality. Many gay teens face verbal and even physical abuse.

Deciding when to come out to others is a big decision. Many people struggle with this for years before letting others know that they are homosexual. Only you can decide when the time feels right.

Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. However, you may have problems with anxiety, depression, and stress from:

  • Feeling unsure or uncomfortable about your sexuality
  • Being rejected by family members and friends
  • Being harassed at school or work

Stress may cause physical problems such as trouble sleeping and headaches. You may try using drugs or alcohol as ways to deal with your emotional pain. You may even have thoughts about suicide. These are serious problems that need professional help.

What if I want to talk about it?

Talking with trusted family members and friends may help. Because others do not always accept homosexuality, it can be hard to talk about it. Your healthcare provider or school counselor can help you find a therapist who can help. If you do not want to see a mental health therapist, talk to a trusted adult, such as a school nurse, school counselor, or teacher. Ask them to recommend a support group.

Get emergency care if you or a loved one has thoughts of suicide or self-harm, violence, or harming others.

There are active support groups for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in many schools and communities. There are also organizations for families and friends. For more information, contact:

Developed by Change Healthcare.
Pediatric Advisor 2022.1 published by Change Healthcare.
Last modified: 2021-11-03
Last reviewed: 2018-05-31
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2022 Change Healthcare LLC and/or one of its subsidiaries
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