is it easier to be a GLBT teen today than it was in the past?

Kids
are coming out as gay and lesbian younger than ever before. This has benefits and
drawbacks. Though many teens no longer have to live a lie, GLBT youth
are still likely to be victims of both physical and verbal
harassment.

Indeed,
a study done by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network found
that nine out of ten GLBT teens had been bullied for their sexual
orientation. Equally disturbing are the facts that young men who have
sex with men are contracting AIDS in huge numbers, and that GLBT
teens are three times more likely to attempt suicide than are their
straight peers. Additionally, a high number of young GLBT teens have
been victims of sexual assault, and many have significantly older partners.

Is
this a crisis. Yes. Is life worse for gay teens today than it used to
be? No.

For
all the challenges queer teens face, today’s world also presents them
with opportunities impossible to imagine even a decade ago. Despite
the setbacks of California’s Proposition 8, gay marriage is a reality
for the first time ever.

Hollywood has moved from showing gays only
as pathetic or predatory to portraying them in a range of
multidimensional roles. Combine this with the fact that GLBT teens
now have access to gay/straight alliances, community programs and
Internet support, and we have a much more encouraging future to offer
queer youth.

But that’s just my opinion. What do you think? Is it easier to be a GLBT teen today than it was in the past?


Posted in: Health, Sex & Relationships, The State of Sex Ed
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