It is important for parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) teens to remember that each child is unique and will have their own experiences and feelings. “Coming out” is a lifelong journey of understanding, acknowledging, and sharing one’s gender identity or sexual orientation with others. Here is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics to help parents support their teen’s journey.

Feelings of being “different” emerge throughout childhood, although it may not be clear to the child what the feelings mean. Children may begin exploring gender before kindergarten, so coming out and sharing these feelings of being different with others may happen at any time. For many kids, gender identity becomes clearer around puberty as their bodies change. Romantic attractions during the teen years may also be experiences that highlight same-sex attractions for lesbian and gay youth. However, many LGBT teens have said, in retrospect, that they began...

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