Owning His Gay Identity -- at 15 Years Old Youths Coming Out Sooner, but Protections Against Harassment Lag

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    Jul 14, 2008 5:14 AM GMT
    ... "Saro, who first said he liked boys to a classmate in sixth grade, is like many of today's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths who openly discuss their sexual orientation and identity with friends, and sometimes family, before entering high school. In doing so, experts say, these youths are escaping the isolation of generations before them but also finding themselves vulnerable to harassment -- or worse. A California eighth-grader who expressed interest in asking another boy to be his valentine was fatally shot in February in a case that drew national attention.

    "Within any given school system, there may be a very accepting crowd and a very hateful crowd," said Robert-Jay Green, executive director of the Rockway Institute in San Francisco, a national center for LGBT research and public policy. ... "

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/13/AR2008071302066.html?hpid=topnews
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    Jul 14, 2008 9:36 AM GMT
    ... in western schools. icon_confused.gif

    There are a lot of GLBT youth in schools here (as young as Elementary), and though they endure the occasional ridicule, I've never even heard of a single gaybashing incident.
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    Jul 14, 2008 1:01 PM GMT
    That is good news that GLBT youth are more comfortable coming out at a young age. It would have been almost unthinkable in the 1970's when I was a teen.

    Although they still face some harrassment, they have more support mechanisms then earlier generations. There are several websites for gay youth, there is MySpace, Facebook, etc..

    The only downside that I have noticed is the internet increases the likelihood of casual sex before they know what safer sex is, and it also increases the risk of cyber bullying and being harrassed by sexual predators.

    Overall I have been impressed by how well adjusted most gay youth seem compared to earlier generations.