Sexual orientation is the term used to describe whether a person feels sexual desire for the opposite gender (heterosexual), same gender (homosexual) or both genders (bisexual). We do not know for certain what causes sexual orientation, and experts can only guess how many people in the U.S. are homosexual. Current estimates suggest up to about 1 in 10 people in the U.S. are homosexual. Many young men and women are unsure about their sexual orientation. Often, it takes years to be certain of their feelings.
Teens who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) often feel afraid to share their feelings with family and friends. Homophobia, or fear of homosexuality, is common and can result in discrimination, intimidation and even violence against homosexual youth. Whatever your own feelings about your child’s sexual orientation, we urge you to listen, accept and love your child for who he is. Depression and suicidal thoughts are three- to six-fold higher in LGBTQ youth that other teens, so all of us at Eugene Pediatric Associates and Thrive Behavioral want to provide extra, sensitive support to children who identify themselves in this group. If your LGBTQ teen wants support resources, please contact us at Eugene Pediatric Associates.