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Homosexuality: Teen Version

What is homosexuality?

Homosexuality means that you are sexually attracted to people of the same sex. Heterosexuals are attracted to people of the opposite sex. Teen years are a time to explore sexuality and learn about yourself. Many boys and girls 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.

You can choose whether or not to act on your sexual feelings, no matter who you are attracted to.

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 friends and family will react, and feel that you have no one to talk to. Society and families often have a hard time accepting homosexuality. Many gay teens face verbal and even physical abuse.

Homosexuality is not a mental disorder. However, being unsure or uncomfortable about your feelings can cause you anxiety, stress, or depression. Stress may cause physical problems like 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. If you feel you can't talk with your parents, talk to a counselor to help you sort out your feelings. If you do not want to see a mental health therapist, talk to a trusted adult, such as a school nurse or school counselor. Ask them to recommend a support group.

There are many organizations for homosexuals, their families, and friends, such as:

Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.3 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-06-11
Last reviewed: 2014-06-10
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.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.
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