Tragic stories of teens being bullied and ostracized at school have been saturating media headlines. But while these tales are making news, there’s another story to be told: that of homosexual teens’ estrangement—even banishment—from their families.
According to the recent Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS), one in four teens who identify themselves as lesbian or gay are homeless, and a study in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) says that it’s more likely that these teens are being driven out of their homes by their parents. Supporting this are findings from studies of homeless youth living apart from their families. One such study shows that 73 percent of homeless gay and lesbian teens indicated that they were homeless because their parents disapproved of their sexual orientation. …
June marks Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. In honor of this event Thrive is pleased have Scott Leibowitz, MD, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s department of psychiatry, as a guest poster, blogging about a soon-to-be launched gender and sexuality psychosocial pilot program he has coordinated at Children’s, which will be the first of its kind in the United States.
Imagine growing up in a constant state of turmoil, being pushed and pulled by two opposing forces: where your internal sense of self tells you to feel one way, but what seems like the rest of the world, and sometimes even your own body, says you should feel another way. For sexual minority youth—children and adolescents who grow up outside conventional norms applied to gender and sexuality—this shame-induced state of being can be every day life.