They feel comfortable and secure about being attracted to people of the same gender. In fact, people don't choose their sexual orientation any more than they choose their height or eye color. Some gay teens say they had same-sex crushes in childhood, just as their heterosexual peers had opposite-sex crushes. Gay people are represented in all walks of life, across all nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, and in all social and economic groups. And despite gender stereotypes, masculine and feminine traits do not necessarily predict whether someone is straight or gay.
By middle school, as they enter adolescence, many gay teens already recognize their sexual orientation, whether or not they have revealed it to anyone else. These new feelings can be intense, confusing, sometimes even overwhelming. Some gay teens say they had same-sex crushes in childhood, just as their heterosexual peers had opposite-sex crushes. But many parents find that they just need time to adjust to the news. No one fully understands exactly what determines a person's sexual orientation, but it is likely explained by a variety of biological and genetic factors. But many lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens who come out to their friends and families are fully accepted by them and their communities. They feel comfortable and secure about being attracted to people of the same gender. It can be reassuring for them to learn about openly gay people who lead happy, successful lives. Many gay teens worry about whether they will be accepted or rejected by their loved ones, or whether people will feel upset, angry, or disappointed in them. And if their child is gay, it may bring a whole new set of questions and concerns. They may feel like they have to pretend to feel things that they don't in order to fit in. Despite myths and misconceptions, there is no evidence that being gay is caused by early childhood experiences, parenting styles, or the way someone is raised. And they might feel protective, worrying that others might judge or reject their child. And recognizing one's sexual orientation is part of that process. Homosexuals whether male or female are often called "gay. Health and mental health professionals caution against any efforts to change a person's sexual orientation. It can take time for gay teens to process how they feel and to accept this aspect of their own identity before they reveal their sexual orientation to others. But these experiences, by themselves, do not necessarily mean that a teen is gay or straight. Many decide to tell a few accepting, supportive friends and family members about their sexual orientation. In a recent survey, teens who had come out reported feeling happier and less stressed than those who hadn't. Becoming aware of — and coming to terms with — one's sexual orientation can take some time. Efforts to change gay people to straight sometimes called "conversion therapy" have been proven to be ineffective and can be harmful. Being gay is also not considered a mental disorder or abnormality. People who are bisexual are romantically and physically attracted to members of both sexes. Once aware, some gay teens may be quite comfortable and accept their sexuality, while others might find it confusing or difficult to accept.
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