How Coming Out Can Make Gay Teens Happier at School

I wish I had come out in high school at least. I was bullied for sure even without being out. I think standing with someone against bullies is always a good thing. I mean even if you have friends who will support you, there’s just something that makes it easier with someone you care about or love at your side.

A new study finds that gay teens who come out in high school have higher well-being than those who keep their sexual orientation secret.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender teens who are out have lower levels of depression, better self-esteem, and increased life satisfaction, according to the study from University of Arizona researcher Stephen Russell, which was published in the current issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

In the past, LGBT teens have often been counseled to conceal their sexual orientation for fear of increased victimization and bullying, Russell says, but this new research, which looked at 245 LGBT young adults, shows that the benefits of being out outweigh the risks. Unfortunately, students who identify as LGBT experience bullying in high school whether or not they are out, according to the research. But the students who disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity report higher self-esteem and less depression.

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