Last month, The Center for Disease Control released one of the most comprehensive national studies on sexual-minority youth. In a national survey of 15,600 students in the 9th-12th grade, it was found that teens who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual ( 8% of the high school population, or 1.3 million students) suffer from substantially higher levels of harassment and physical and sexual abuse, than those who identify as straight. To parents, this may come as a shock, but to teens across the U.S, this is the reality in which they live.
If you suspect that your teen may be struggling, you may be one of their only lifelines. Family support has been shown to be a very strong protective factor in lowering the risk of suicide and bolstering self-esteem. When communicating with your teen, be sure to provide a nonjudgmental environment for them to feel safe to open up to you. Remember that your teens basic need is to be heard, understood, and validated. Individual and family therapy can help to enhance your relationship with your teen, and your teens relationship with themselves.
For Gay and Transgender Teens, Will It Get Better?
It’s easy to assume that now must be a better time than ever to be a lesbian, gay or bisexual teenager. We recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. Our culture has grown more accepting, too; one of the most anticipated albums of the year, Frank Ocean’s, embraces his desire for men. These factors work together to create the illusion that as a society we are barreling toward a world of complete liberation, where everyone is truly free to be whoever they are……
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