Coming Out As Gay or Lesbian to Your Teenager

Once you’ve taken that big step to finally accepting who you are and embracing your newfound lesbian/gay identity, you may want to shout it out and share it with the whole world. However, you’re not sure how you’ll be accepted, if everyone is going to feel that same euphoria as you are feeling, especially your family and more specifically your kids. Teenagers are going through a sexual awakening; the last thing they want to face is their mom’s or dad’s sexual re-birth.

Nevertheless, it must be dealt with, as keeping it from them won’t help unite the family. It will most likely prevent you and your kids from properly bonding especially at a time when they need you most. Most lesbian moms and dads spend a considerable amount of time worrying about how to come out to their teens and asking themselves questions such as:

• Will they hate me?
• Will they yell and scream at me?
• Will they walk away from me?
• Will they still love me?
• Will they accept me?

Thinking about all the possible scenarios and outcomes can lead to anxiety. Begin to change your way of thinking from – what will they think of me, to how am I going to tell them so they’ll accept me lovingly. Here are some pointers as to how to begin the process of broaching the subject with your teenager. If you wish to approach your son or daughter with…”I’m a lesbian I’m gay and I’m proud of it”, that’s great, go ahead. The following advice is for those who might want to take a more gradual approach to the issue because of fear of homophobic responses from their teens. These steps are designed to prepare you for a successful coming out reception.

Step One: Begin by bringing home books on lesbian and gay issues and leaving them around the house, on the coffee table, by the phone, etc. Wait for their reactions. When they ask why these books are around, or comment on them, just say you’re doing research on the subject. If they ask why, simply say, “because I find it an interesting issue;” then walk away.

Step Two: Rent or buy a movie in which one of the characters is gay or lesbian. Sit down with your teens on movie night and watch it together. At the end ask them what they thought of the movie and especially the gay/lesbian character. Accept whatever response they say. Do not become defensive in any way. Then add your opinion, whatever it may be, but of course it should be positive. For example, “I think the lesbian/gay character was well acted, a strong and powerful performance.”

Step Three: If you have a girlfriend/boyfriend or partner bring him/her home for approximately one hour. Introduce him/her only by name. Have your kids say “hi” and enjoy a drink together.

Step Four: If you do not have a boyfriend/girlfriend or partner, engage your kids in a conversation about Meredith Baxter or Neil Patrick Harris or another known celebrity that is lesbian or gay and has come out. Ask your teens for their opinions on the subject. Tell them that you think he/she has been very courageous for deciding to live a true and honest life.

Step Five: Seize the opportunity. Sometimes the opportunity just arises when your teens mention something about a lesbian or gay friend or schoolmate. Take this opportunity to ask them how they feel about it. Encourage discussion on the issue. If it’s negative, don’t be alarmed or defensive just add your own positive angle to it.

Step Six: Come Out: I find it best to come out to teens on a one to one basis and not in a group format. On a day or night your teens are home alone, approach them individually and ask them if you can share something very important and personal. Say it’s about you and although you have been hesitant to share it, you now feel it’s the right time. Then say something to this effect: “I have come to the realization that I am gay/lesbian” or that “I’m attracted to men/women” or “I now identify as gay/lesbian and plan to date men/women” or “I now identify as gay/lesbian and I have a boyfriend/girlfriend (which you have already met)” If that’s the case.

Step Seven: Wait for their reactions. They may surprise you and hug you and say they knew it all along. Whatever the reaction, take it in a positive stride. If they become upset, let them express their anger. If they ask you to leave the room, comply and let them take the initiative and return to you later. If they don’t return to you, wait a few days and then broach the issue with them. By then they’ll have had time to talk about it with friends (possibly) or just had time to toss around the whole my mom is a lesbian/my dad is gay notion.

Questions are always a good sign that your teen is trying to accept you. Through questions you’ll have the opportunity to share your coming out process. Don’t be surprised if it takes a few days (possibly weeks) for your teens to accept you and your new lesbian/gay identity. Begin to take steps now to creating a more meaningful, honesty based relationship with your teenager. Seek support from your local lesbian/gay community centres and PFlag groups. Begin to pick up brochures, books and films to help you in the coming out process. Most importantly, don’t stand alone, have a good friend stand by you for support. Ensure to keep a positive attitude towards yourself and your new identity and that energy will be conveyed to those around you.

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What Online Dating Websites Have to Offer Gay & Lesbians

Online dating websites have created a revolution in gay dating. Because the gay population is relatively small in comparison, it is still quite difficult for our gay population to find love online … but not impossible. In some ways, the Internet provides safety, relative anonymity and a global reach that creates a huge number of new possibilities. The World Wide Web makes the playing field much more level.

Gay and lesbian online dating sites have been around for over 10 years and these sites often have thousands of members at any given time, so you really don’t have to worry about not having enough choices. You just have to be persistent about looking.

Some sites have modest monthly subscription charges, but you definitely get what you pay for. For a trial cost of just a few dollars for a month, or an annual fee of less than $100, members can get dozens of innovative, helpful features.

Some dating sites even offer extras that help you decide where to join such as free magazine subscriptions to major gay publications that offer local information.

Finding a friend, lover or lifelong partner is as difficult for everyone. Fortunately, these online dating websites provide thousands of member profiles with matching, zip code targeting and other features that significantly help to reduce the problem of finding someone compatible in your district.

Free trial memberships can be as short as three days, others as long as a month. A shorter period can still work for you if, for example, the site has thousands of active members and several live in your area.

Many lesbian dating sites have their own special extras that encompass major publications devoted to gay woman. You can easily find out what’s happening locally or in a town you that you plan to visit.

These types of features can also help you connect up with the scene in a place you may have just moved to, or they just allow you to find a safe date on a business trip or vacation. They also offer opportunities for connecting with someone who fits your lifestyle and unique values.

Everyone wants to find that perfect partner whether for the short- or long-term, and the internet has opened up a large world to all people including gays.

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The Spiritual Poverty of the Gay Lifestyle Today!

THE EARLY YEARS

Fortunately for all Americans the 1960’s, 70’s and then 80’s led first to greater sexual freedom and liberation – and then to greater sexual honesty. The internet boom of the last decade solidified those gains to the extent that there can likely never really be a return to the sexual
“dark ages”.

THE GAYS & THE “THREE B’s”

Gays and Lesbians had historically lived prior to the Stonewall Riots lives of quiet desperation “in the closet” facing overt hostility and repression every day of their lives.

After the STONEWALL RIOTS – our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters overall marched straight out of their closets and eventually right down MAIN STREET or FIFTH AVENUE or MARKET STREET or SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD in their festive PRIDE PARADES across North America and now across the world. Many gays and to a lesser extent Lesbians want to be open about their sexual orientation – while this is NOT the case with most bisexuals – especially happy bisexuals.

Soon across America there were dozens of openly gay bars, adult bookstores, and bathhouses in every major North American city. Gay Community Centers sprouted in most every major North American city – save San Francisco – where until recently the community was so fractious they could not even open such a center! Gay Community Centers with time became Gay and Lesbian Centers – then GLBT Centers and soon to be GLBT and P – polyamory – and Q centers – Queer.

Maybe one fine day even the new, trendy METROSEXUALS will join the sexual minorities to party and to parade!

The GAY PARADIGM – which emerged as a result of this desire for being OPEN – was often confrontational to the larger straight community with a certain “WE’RE QUEER and WE’RE HERE!” element in far too many areas of America. In the gay era before AIDS the fact of life was that the gay community was hijacked by the THREE B’S who made a killing – and also ultimately killed off thousands if not millions of gays. They are the BARS, the BATHS, and the BOOKSTORES. Their agenda was to make FILTHY LUCRE and they did so rapaciously for years and years. Gay communities in these early years – including their activists and journalists became dependent on these deep pockets but they too were all too often caught in the thrall of the 3 B’s AGENDA – even hidden agenda of SEEK BUT DO NOT FIND.

Even today the “beau ideal” of the American gay community is some twenty-something twink or hunk or military type – portrayed again and again for decades endlessly and all but mindlessly. This beau ideal type can never be snared and brought home to one’s bed – save at a hefty price (escorts and models or trade) – much less to one’s life and family! Billions have been and will continue to be made on the backs and knees of these 18 to 25 year olds who are then cast off for next year’s “model”. Nothing is sadder than meeting a middle-aged towel boy at a gay bath or spa or a broken down bartender at some gay bar who openly laments that he was once “somebody” in the gay limelight years ago.

The NOT so secret moneymaking agenda of the POWERS THAT BE in the gay community – the 3 B’s and their legion of co- conspirators was “SEEK BUT DO NOT FIND”. Gay men HAD to go out as often as possible to the bars, the baths or the bookstores – as they might be missing out on something or someone. Even if they found someone it was and is all too often a one-night stand if not a 15 minute standup. One gay friend recently admitted to me he had not had horizontal gay sex since the AIDS epidemic was full-blown (i.e. two decades). While many gay men do find long-term committed relationships – as the new Gay Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire – far too many will regale you with Elizabeth Taylor-esque tales of their 13 husbands and numerous affairs – few lasting more than a season or two. BUT – the 3 B’s want gays “to seek but do not find” – to be good consumers – good customers! I attended University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco in the early 70’s and one openly notorious homosexual law student openly proclaimed that his small gay bar and its 11 long-term regular patrons who cashed their every paycheck there paid his way through law school. He admitted that over two dozen such “regulars” were openly feted at all major holidays and their every birthday to keep them as “regulars”.

Even to this day – the GAY PARADIGM – the GAY COMMUNITY is still trying to shirk this “seek but do not find” rigid pattern. Unlike many happy bisexuals – gays and even many Lesbians – are still under this spell – notwithstanding that even the major gay mecca cities San Francisco and New York closed the gay baths – gay bars are half in number or half full today -yet the adult bookstores – and videos – and pornographers are richer than ever – harvesting a new crop of young twinks and studs for their 15 minutes of fame every season of every year until the end of time. The internet has been a major boon to pornography and pornography sales worldwide especially in the gay “beefcake” market.

THE THREE B’S REPLACED BY MAJOR MERCHANTS OF GREED

Things – largely due to AIDS as well as long-term maturing gay and lesbian community – have changed and are changing – but the change from the “3 B’s” holding the community in its thrall has morphed into gross and crass materialism as soon as the major marketing gurus found the Gay and Lesbian NICHE of affluent consumers with huge discretionary spending who were eager to “Seek and Find” and then “Seek and Find” again – consumer goods and luxury travel and the like.

NOW the vast majority of the FORTUNE 500 companies market to the Gay and Lesbian Community noting in their
marketing circles that the Gay and Lesbian market is one of the larger and more affluent segments of today’s marketplace. Gays and Lesbians who were already as average American consumers easy prey for materialism and
consumerism were even more easily influenced when buying this and that product led to acceptance by this or that major corporate icon, this or that major world conglomerate – tied with greater status and greater rank in one’s millieu.

HERE COME THE ALTERNATIVES:

Finally, after this gay party and Pride parade – then gay + Lesbian party and parade – was far along – here come some welcome alternatives. The Metropolitian Community Church has been with us for decades and has sought to help fill the spiritual hunger of many gays and lesbians who want to find that solace and inner peace in a gay and Lesbian religious setting.

Many mainstream Christian churches have embraced the gay and lesbian community in many outreach programs as the Churchof Christ and the Unitarian/Universalists and the gay and lesbian support groups and organizations within their home churches as Dignity, Integritry, and the Brethern and the like. Islam offered up “Gay Muslim” groups and there are many GLBT groups for Jews, Buddhists, and other faiths.

Many gay and lesbians have also explored alternatives to organized religions with New Age thinking, yoga, Scientology
and other stops on that long travelled road the American pursuit of happiness trail.

Microcosm vs. Macrocosm:

Maybe gays and lesbians just finally caught up with the mainstream of American life – gross, crass materialism being catered to and cajoled into more and more consumer spending and more and more consumer debt to “Seek and Find” and then continually in yet more and more rounds of self-indulgence and over-indulgence to “Seek and Find” again and again. Sadly there is no “silver bullet” for the Gay and Lesbian community nor American society as a whole. When and where will we all find something more valuable, reliable and relevant – than buy, buy, buy and more, more, more? When?

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Being A Gay Is Endorsed Through The Gay Pride Events

With each passing day, the world over is observing an unparalleled surge in the number of gay-friendly societies. The set-norms are tilting a bit everywhere and accommodating gays as they are, inside homes and hearts, far and wide. Gay Pride is the result of such adjustments in the societies all over that espouses the cause of being a gay/ lesbian.

It is common place to witness the so-called phenomenon of gay pride being organised across most regions of the world between the last week of June and the first of July. No matter in which part of the globe you are, the nearest gay pride event is going to attract thousands of people, openly supporting their cause of being a homosexual.

Each new edition of Gay Pride is catching the imaginations of gays in a big way. The numbers keep rushing forward. The intensity of the even is especially felt enormously in the big global cities, like London, Berlin, Los Angeles, Madrid or Barcelona. During the gay pride event, these distinguished cities greet the gays amid celebrations that include just about everything from music, theatre, dance, parties, social events, exhibits to live entertainment. Different cities mark the nearest gay pride with totally different themes and infuse colours and tastes accordingly.

London does the same and lives upto the rising expectations of the gays with its multicultural themes. Before the
nearestgay event, the city arranges and strives to take the aspirants to one of the most visually extravagant Pride ever. If you happen to be in London during that period, expect the stages to be lit-up with celebrities, entertainments and politics. You can hope to get the glimpse of a truly star-studded and spectacularly dazzling affair.

Berlin’s ‘Gay Pride Week’ features among the trendiest gay pride around and hosted in the end of June every summer. The week goes in ruptures with all sorts of events and activities amid gay-lesbian background, though all visitors are kept engaged with other supporting events.

Los Angeles marks its nearest gay pride with various themes, and this year the theme centred on realising the true identity of one self.

Madrid celebrates its gay pride with great fervour and enthusiasm amid a wide range of events, sponsored and backed up by all the gay organisations of the city. Even the surrounding cities feel the heat of its gay pride and indulge in it with a bang.

Barcelona hosts its gay events with an entirely different approach and drapes sport and cultural around the event. A vast number of athletes throng the city from everywhere to be a part of a mega show. Barcelona transforms itself completely throughout the event and truly becomes a cosmopolitan town.

Thus, a striking similarity could be seen from the gay events all over, with a cause given the prime concern. Even not being a gay, you can also support the cause by celebrating and raising the cause for a community seeking its share of identity to live life on its own terms.

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One in Four Gay and Lesbian Adults Don’t Have Health Insurance

A recent national study by Harris Interactive®,a global leader in custom market research, has revealed that almost one in four gay and lesbian adults do not have health insurance and are almost two times as likely as their heterosexual equivalents to have zero health insurance coverage.

Figures from the survey showed that 22% of the gay and lesbian individuals asked stated they had no health insurance, a shock in comparison to the 12% of heterosexuals who were also questioned.

This nationwide poll involved 2,710 American adults aged 18 plus, out of which 343 stated themselves as gay or lesbian (including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults) and took place between the dates of April 7th and April 15th, 2008, via a website, alongside the company Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc, who are the nations top rated marketing communications and consulting firm, who specialize in reaching the gay and lesbian consumer market.

“We know the problem of the uninsured has reached crisis proportions in this country and, unfortunately, this survey shows that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community is today at greater risk. What GLBT households and all Americans deserve and need is affordable access to quality health care that results in positive outcomes and facilitates prevention, wellness and chronic care coordination,” said Peter Francel CEBS, Head of Sales-Product Group for Aetna. “We must step up all efforts to serve the uninsured and take the lead in transforming our health care system for not only our GLBT members but all those who are not covered by health insurance today,” he added

He also mentioned that Aetna’s GLBT policy of having a friendly working environment have led to the company obtaining a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index since 2002.

The people question were asked what variables would effect their decision as to which particular health insurers they would choose to go with. Nearly exactly the same amount of gay and lesbian adults stated that it was likely to have a profound effect if the health insurance company gave domestic partner health coverage for companies to whom they supply health insurance (85%) and to their own employees (84%).

79% of gay and lesbian adults indicated that if they saw a printed advertisement for a health insurance company which was specifically aimed at people of the gay community, with images of gay or lesbian people and relevant information about insurance products , this would definitely effect the chance of them considering going with that company.

If things such as price, accessibility and standard were not needed to be taken into account, almost 8 out of 10, 78%, gay and lesbian consumers would be most likely to choose an insurance provider or plan aimed at the GLBT community, with 67% stating that they would be most likely to consider a health insurer with agents they knew to be openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

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