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How to accept a close friends sexual orientation

This article was co-authored by Deb Schneider, LCSW, PPSC. Deb Schneider is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Oakland, CA, and a Program Manager for the Weiland Health Initiative at Stanford University. With over 15 years of experience, she specializes in creating safe spaces, respectful of marginalized identities, at the high school and college levels. Deb holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Clark University and a Master of Social Work (MSW) with Health Concentration from the University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare.

There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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If you feel very attracted to members of the same sex or both sexes but struggle with accepting that fact, here is a guide to help you. You have found out your sexual orientation, and you are perfectly normal. Accepting who you are – and being proud of who you are – is the next step on the road to coming out of the closet, and eventually to having a successful gay or lesbian relationship. Some people have difficulty accepting their sexual orientation, either because of personal or societal discomfort or pressure. Most people in the LGBT+ community know from experience that accepting your sexuality will lead to your becoming a happier, more open person.

In this guide, the term gay has been used to include all forms of non-heterosexual attraction, whether that be people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, or otherwise not straight.

How to accept a close friends sexual orientation

1. To homosexuals: Who is the guy/girl in the relationship?
If you are asking this question to an LGBTQ friend, you have missed the whole point. The answer to this is that there isn’t a guy or girl in the relationship. It’s free of these boundations. They share the work equally. That’s what an equal relationship is all about, regardless of gender. You ask these questions because you have a fixed image of who pays the bills and who cooks dinner.

2. To bisexuals: So, you haven’t picked a side yet?
People who are bisexual often get this question. However, bisexuality is a perfectly valid orientation on its own. It’s not a phase or dependent on who that person is dating. Some people will use this orientation as a stepping stone in their journey, but don’t generalize it.

3. How did your parents react?
Most often, people don’t ask this question because they are concerned about the emotional welfare of the individual. They ask because they are curious. Also, you may be asking them to relive a deeply traumatic experience for the benefit of your curiosity.

4. To asexuals: Are you a celibate?
The answer to this is a straight “no”. Most often, celibacy is a choice that has religious or moral reasons. In addition, it’s not necessary that celibates don’t feel sexual needs. They choose to do nothing about it. This is not the case with asexuality. It is a lived experience in which a person doesn’t feel sexual attraction or desire.

5. To lesbians: Did a man hurt you?
Yes, it might be that a man did hurt a lesbian. But she is not a lesbian because of some man’s feelings. This is a very close-minded and short-sighted question.

If someone comes out to you, make that individual feel heard, seen and respected by saying something like “Thank you so much for trusting me and telling me that.” Reiterate your care and love. Ask what you can do to provide support.

Similarly, Why do we say coming out of the closet?

Coming out of the closet, often shortened to coming out, is a metaphor used to describe LGBT people’s self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.

Also, What to say when your child comes out to you? What to Do (and Not Do) When Your Child Comes Out to You

  • DON’T Ignore it. .
  • DON’T Say you “knew all along.” .
  • DON’T Tell them “this is just a phase.” .
  • DON’T Use religion to shame them. .
  • DO Tell them you believe and love them, and thank them for telling you. .
  • DO Ask about what kind of support they need.

What does it mean to come out to someone?

What does it mean to “come out”? Coming out refers to the process that people who are LGBTQ go through as they work to accept their sexual orientation or gender identity and share that identity openly with other people.

What does it mean when someone says they have skeletons in their closet?

Skeleton in the closet or skeleton in the cupboard is a colloquial phrase and idiom used to describe an undisclosed fact about someone which, if revealed, would damage perceptions of the person; It evokes the idea of someone having had a human corpse concealed in their home so long that all its flesh had decomposed to .

Why do people struggle out?

There are also plenty of reasons why people decide not to come out, such as: They’re not yet sure about who they are or how they feel. They’re still trying to figure things out for themselves. They feel that topics like sexual orientation or gender are private and see no reason to talk about them.

What do you do after your child comes out?

Five things you can do after your child comes out

  1. Tell them you love them. These are the single most important words right now. .
  2. Find your support system. Is there a community support group near you? .
  3. Do your research, and get your questions answered. .
  4. Sign up for our Coming Out With Care package. .
  5. Let love guide you.

How do you explain bisexuality?

The term “bisexual” is used to describe a person who experiences emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to, or engages in romantic or sexual relationships with, more than one sex or gender.

How can I help the Lgbtq child?

Talk with your child or foster child about their LGBT identity. Express affection when your child tells you or when you learn that your child is LGBT. Support your child’s LGBT identity even though you may feel uncomfortable. Advocate for your child when he or she is mistreated because of their LGBT identity.

What come over means?

intransitive verb. 1a : to change from one side (as of a controversy) to the other. b : to visit casually : drop in come over whenever you like. 2 British : become.

Is it important to come out?

By coming out, the person is able to share with others who they are and what is important to them, rather than having to hide or lie about their identity. Coming out frees the person of the fear of being “found out” and helps them avoid living a double life, which can be extremely stressful and demoralizing.

What does having a field day mean?

: to get a lot of pleasure and enjoyment from doing something —used especially to describe getting enjoyment from criticizing someone, making fun of someone, etc. If word of his involvement in this scandal ever leaks out, the newspapers are going to have a field day.

What are your skeletons?

The skeletal system is a network of many different parts that work together to help you move. The main part of your skeletal system consists of your bones, hard structures that create your body’s framework — the skeleton. There are 206 bones in an adult human skeleton.

What is a family skeleton?

: a secret or hidden source of embarrassment or disgrace to a family — compare skeleton in the closet.

What’s the meaning of LGBT?

The term “LGBT ” technically stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. It includes both sexual orientation (LGB) and gender identity (T).

What Demisexual means?

Demisexual people only feel sexually attracted to someone when they have an emotional bond with the person. They can be gay, straight, bisexual, or pansexual, and may have any gender identity. The prefix “demi” means half — which can refer to being halfway between sexual and asexual.

What is happy pride month?

LGBT Pride Month occurs in the United States to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact LGBT people have had in the world. Three presidents of the United States have officially declared a pride month.

What does the Q stand for in Lgbtq?

LGBTQ: An acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, with the « Q » often meaning either « queer » or « questioning. » . Queer: This is « an adjective used by some people, particularly younger people, whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual. »

How do I accept Lgbtq?

  1. Don’t make assumptions about people’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  2. Speak out against homophobia, transphobia and anti-LGBTQ harassment and discrimination.
  3. Speak out against the use of antigay slurs.
  4. Be supportive of anyone who chooses to come out.
  5. Attend LGBTQ events.

What is the meaning drop by?

Drop by is defined as to stop in for a short, casual, unannounced visit. An example of drop by is stopping at a friend’s house while in their neighborhood to see if they are home.

How do you stay calm when coming?

Here are some helpful, actionable tips you can try the next time you need to calm down.

  1. Breathe. .
  2. Admit that you’re anxious or angry. .
  3. Challenge your thoughts. .
  4. Release the anxiety or anger. .
  5. Visualize yourself calm. .
  6. Think it through. .
  7. Listen to music. .
  8. Change your focus.

What does having a field trip mean?

: a visit (as to a factory, farm, or museum) made (as by students and a teacher) for purposes of firsthand observation.

What does the idiom get out on the wrong side of the bed mean?

Definition of get out of bed on the wrong side

chiefly British. : to be in a bad mood throughout the day Be careful when you talk to the boss. He get out of bed on the wrong side this morning.

What does it mean when you give someone the slip?

informal. : to escape (someone) : to get away from (someone) The robber gave the police the slip.

Positive environments are important to help all youth thrive. However, the health needs of LGBT Youth can differ from their heterosexual peers. On this page, find resources from the CDC, other government agencies, and community organizations for LGBT Youth, their friends, educators, parents, and family members to support positive environments.

How to accept a close friends sexual orientation

Some LGBT youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience negative health and life outcomes. It is critical for the parents, guardians, and other family members of LGBT youth to have access to the resources they need to ensure their LGBT children are protected and supported.


    If you’ve ever wondered if you’re gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you’re not alone. Many teens ask themselves this question, and here are ways to find some answers. For parents and caregivers, finding out your son or daughter is gay, lesbian, or bisexual can present challenges. Learn more about how to be supportive.
    As a student, you have the power to make change in many ways in your school and community.
    GSA clubs are student-run organizations that unite LGBTQ+ and allied youth to build community and organize around issues impacting them in their schools and communities.
    Information for LGBT teens on sexual activity, substance use, mental health, discrimination, and violence.
    The It Gets Better Project inspires people across the globe to share their stories and remind the next generation of LGBTQ+ youth that hope is out there, and it will get better.
    The Q Card is a simple and easy-to-use communication tool designed to empower LGBTQ youth to become actively engaged in their health, and to support the people who provide their care.
    Q Chat Space is a digital LGBTQ+ center where teens join live-chat, professionally facilitated, online support groups. Also available in Spanish (disponible en español).
    Schools should be a young person’s primary center for learning, growing, and building a foundation for success in the world. High school can be challenging for any student, but LGBTQ youth face additional obstacles of harassment, abuse, and violence.
    The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

Because some LGBT youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience bullying or other aggression in school, it is important that educators, counselors, and school administrators have access to resources and support to create a safe, healthy learning environment for all students.


    Lesson plans, tips and strategies, background information, and additional resources to help youth-serving professionals create safe space for young people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
    American Psychological Association (APA) Resources


      The Safe and Supportive Schools Project promotes safe and supportive environments to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among adolescents.
      Just the Facts provides information and resources for principals, educators and school personnel who confront sensitive issues involving gay, lesbian and bisexual students.
      Accurate information for those who want to better understand sexual orientation.

    Some LGBT youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience bullying or other aggression in school. It is important that educators, counselors, and school administrators have access to resources and support to create a safe, healthy learning environment for all students.


      AFY provides lesson plans, tips and strategies, background information, and additional resources to help youth-serving professionals create safe space for young people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
      Accurate information for those who want to better understand sexual orientation.

      The Family Acceptance Project is a research, intervention, education, and policy initiative that works to prevent health and mental health risks for LGBT children and youth.
      “Coming out” is a lifelong journey of understanding, acknowledging and sharing one’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation with others.
      Information for parents on how youth experience sexual attraction and orientation, as well as how you as a parent or guardian may feel about and deal with youth on this topic.
      Information about PFLAG’s confidential peer support and education in communities.
      Information on how parents can promote positive health outcomes for their LGB teen.
      This resource guide was developed to help practitioners who work in a wide range of settings to understand the critical role of family acceptance and rejection in contributing to the health and well-being of adolescents who identify as LGBT.
      Parents play a key role in preventing and responding to bullying. If you know or suspect that your child is involved in bullying, here are several resources that may help.
      Increased access to technology has benefits, but it also can increase the risk of abuse.

    Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.

    Not everyone comes out in the same way. And not everyone comes out to everybody in their lives, or comes out to everybody at the same time. There’s no one right way to come out.

    What does it mean to “come out”?

    Coming out refers to the process that people who are LGBTQ go through as they work to accept their sexual orientation or gender identity and share that identity openly with other people.

    Coming out is a very brave thing to do, and it’s extremely personal and different for everyone. Your emotions when coming out may range from scared and anxious to elated and relieved.

    There’s no one right way to come out. It can feel better to be open and honest about your sexual orientation than to hide it, but there are many factors to consider before coming out.

      Coming out is a process. Often the first step is coming out to yourself. This happens as you recognize your sexual orientation and begin to accept it. Next, you might choose to tell your family, friends, and people in your community — sometimes right away, and sometimes later. You might decide to be open with some people in your life, but not with others.

    Coming out isn’t a one-time thing. Because many people assume that everyone they meet is straight, coming out is a constant process. Every time an LGBTQ-identified person meets someone new (friends, co-workers, nurses and doctors, etc.), they have to decide if, when, and how to come out.

    Choosing to come out depends on the situation. The coming-out process can be freeing and can bring you closer to the people you love. But it can also be stressful or even risky or dangerous. You may feel safer not coming out in certain situations. You don’t have to be out everywhere, all the time. You can decide what’s best for you.

    Coming out can have benefits and risks. If you’re wondering whether to come out, there’s a lot to consider. Does coming out mean that you risk losing emotional or financial support from your family? Could coming out put you in physical danger? Will your family try to pressure you into being someone you’re not? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to wait until you’re in a different situation or have more support.

    You, and only you, are in charge of your coming out experience. It’s up to you to choose how, where, when, and with whom to be open about your sexual orientation (and gender identity). It may feel safer to start by being open with other people who also identify as LGBTQ. This could be online, in community centers, at an LGBTQ club or group, or with a few close friends.

    How do I come out to my parents and friends?

    There’s no single, correct way to come out to your family and friends. You’re the expert in what feels right to you, and who it feels safest to tell.

    Here are some suggestions that might make the conversation easier:

    When you decide that you’re ready to come out, give yourself some time to practice how you’ll do it and what you’ll say.

    Identify the people or person in your life that you think will be the most okay with the news, and come out to them first. You can often get a sense of how friendly someone is to LGBTQ people by how they react when the topic comes up in conversation.

    Do some research so that you have information about being LGBTQ in case your loved one has questions or doesn’t have the facts.

    You may be more comfortable coming out by writing a letter or e-mail rather than telling someone in person. That’s totally fine.

    After you decide who you’ll come out to, what you’ll say to them, and how you’ll say it, be prepared to wait as they digest and accept the new information. Give them the time they need.

    Don’t assume that everyone will react with prejudice — go in with an open mind. Some people may surprise you with their openness and acceptance, and many folks already know other LGBTQ people in their lives.

    Where can I find support if I’m coming out?

    You can find support from many sources, including:

    Other LGBTQ people who may share the experience of coming out

    Online communities of LGBTQ people

    Trusted LGBTQ adults that you may already know, such as family members or teachers

    Straight people who are allies to LGBTQ people

    A Gay/Straight Alliance at your school

    A local LGBTQ community center

    Not everyone lives in a place that has a Gay/Straight Alliance in their school, or an LGBTQ community center. The Internet is very useful in finding communities and support in coming out.

    Book an Appointment

    Book an Appointment

    Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit under EIN 13-1644147. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable under the law.

    © 2021 Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc.

    Parents want their children to be happy, healthy, and safe. If your child comes out to you as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer), that may or may not be something you imagined or feel prepared for—but your acceptance really matters to their health and safety.

    Why does family acceptance matter?

    Dr. Caitlin Ryan, the director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, has conducted some of the first studies on how a family’s accepting and rejecting behaviors affect the well-being of LGBTQ children. Her research shows how families can learn to support these children—even if they believe that being gay or transgender is wrong.

    One of Dr. Ryan’s studies showed that a family’s accepting or rejecting behaviors toward a young person’s LGBTQ status has significant implications for that child’s health and well-being. Young people with high levels of family rejection were:

    • eight times more likely to report having attempted suicide
    • nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression
    • more than three times more likely to use drugs or have unprotected sex. 1

    In another study, she found that family acceptance helps protect adolescents against suicidal behavior, depression, and substance abuse. Young people with accepting families also reported higher self-esteem, social support, and overall health. 2

    How might a parent react when they learn their child is LGBTQ?

    When a child comes out as LGBTQ, parents respond in a variety of ways. At one extreme, they may reject their child, even throw them out of the house. At the other end of the spectrum, they celebrate their child’s identity. Some parents accept their child right away by expressing their love and support but still need time to adjust. Most parents are somewhere closer to the middle to start but become more accepting over time. 3

    You may have questions and conflicting feelings; a lot of parents do at first. Depending on your faith or cultural beliefs, you may have a difficult time understanding this part of your child’s life. Many parents wonder:

    • Did I do something wrong?
    • Will I have grandkids?
    • How will people treat my child?
    • How do I tell people?
    • How can my child be sure? Maybe it’s just a phase. 4

    It’s worth noting that you may be asking these questions out of love and concern, but they may feel to your child like rejection of a very important part of who they are. According to Dr. Ryan, you may need to mourn the loss of what you expected and wanted for your child. But your child can have a healthy future and, if they choose, a family of their own—and they’re actually more likely to achieve those goals when they feel accepted by their families. It will take time to learn what your child needs. You can find a way to maintain your values and keep your family together by starting to support your LGBTQ child, even when you have a hard time accepting this part of their identity.

    Examples of more accepting behavior . . .

    • asking them about their experience and how you can help them feel supported
    • listening without interrupting or arguing
    • telling them you love them and express affection
    • learning together about issues LGBTQ youth face by joining an LGBTQ family support organization, such as PFLAG, Gender Spectrum, Gender Odyssey, or Strong Family Alliance
    • standing up for your child when they are mistreated, even by other family members
    • helping your child find an LGBTQ role model for your child among friends and family members or through PFLAG or other support groups
    • talking to your religious leaders about helping your place of worship become more supportive of LGBTQ people, or find a more supportive place of worship at gaychurch.org, Q Christian Fellowship, Keshet, or Muslims for Progressive Values
    • encouraging family and friends to check in with your child and show support
    • challenging homophobic comments
    • getting to know your child’s LGBTQ friends and romantic partner
    • support your child’s gender expression

    . . . and examples of rejecting behaviors to avoid, such as

    • hitting or threatening your child
    • shaming, name-calling, or not letting your child talk about their sexual orientation or gender identity
    • excluding them from family events
    • standing by silently if family/others bully them
    • blaming or punishing your child for who they are
    • restricting access to information or events about LGBTQ identity and topics
    • cutting them off from supportive friends withholding affection
    • pressuring your child to be more or less masculine or feminine
    • punishing them by cutting off financial support

    How can families learn to be more accepting?

    Dr. Ryan explains that for many families, acceptance is a journey. “It isn’t all or nothing—you can find a balance between what you’re comfortable with now and what your child needs,” she says. “Some parents feel like they can never accept a child’s LGBTQ identity. We show them how to start by supporting their child, such as requiring that other family members treat their child with respect as they do other family members, or standing up for their child when others mistreat them because of who they are. This helps validate their child and supports well-being without forcing parents to move faster than they feel ready to.”

    It’s also helpful to connect with other parents of LGBTQ children, to find support and a safe space to be honest about your feelings. PFLAG is one national organization of families and allies of LGBTQ individuals with support groups in every state.

    How can parents move forward if they don’t feel good about their first reaction?

    Even if you didn’t have the best initial reaction, you can still learn to support your LGBTQ child. Dr. Ryan suggests that “the most important thing you can do is to tell your child how much you love them. Your love reassures them that you are there for them and it creates space to talk honestly about each other’s feelings. This helps your family stay connected and grow together.”

    We all make mistakes as we learn. It helps to remember that both you and your child are usually acting from a place of love, even if it doesn’t come across that way. Remember to give your child credit for doing something really difficult if they come out to you. Your child will come out many times in their life to different people. Sometimes they will be accepted, and unfortunately they may also face rejection. But starting on their path with your love and acceptance can help them develop a sense of self-worth and confidence to face future challenges—and to lead a healthier and more fulfilling life.

    Special thanks to Caitlin Ryan, PhD. Dr. Ryan is a clinical social worker and researcher who has worked on issues relating to the health and mental health of LGBTQ children, youth, and families for more than forty years. She founded and directs the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University. Dr. Ryan and her team developed the first research-based family support model to decrease family rejection and increase acceptance and support. She has trained more than 85,000 families, providers, and religious leaders on this work and developed the series Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Families with Lesbian, Gay and Transgender Children, the first “Best Practice” resource for suicide prevention for LGBTQ young people in the Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention.

    Samuel Mann receives funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Samuel Mann is a PhD Student at Swansea University affiliated with the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods.

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    Swansea University provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.

    The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations

    How to accept a close friends sexual orientation

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    In recent years LGBT+ rights have improved dramatically. Same-sex marriage is now legally performed and recognised in 28 countries. Equality laws protect LGBT+ people at work and increased media coverage is improving knowledge and awareness of sexual orientations. More to be done, however, to ensure equality for all, and researchers have been looking into how different factors like these contribute to the happiness and life satisfaction of people with minority sexual identities.

    Studies have shown that, on average, homosexuals and bisexuals report lower levels of life satisfaction than heterosexuals. This has been linked to homosexuals and bisexuals experiencing heteronormativity (the assumption that heterosexual orientation and binary gender identity are “normal”, which has led to the world being built to cater to the needs and desires of heterosexual life), which leads to stigmatisation. For our new study we looked deeper into the links between sexuality and life satisfaction, and found that people with an “other” sexual identity – such as pansexual, demisexual, or asexual – also experience lower levels of life satisfaction than heterosexuals.

    Well-being differences

    Using 150,000 responses collected over five years as part of the Understanding Society survey, we analysed whether the happiest heterosexuals are happier than the happiest sexual minorities, and if the least happy sexual minorities are less happy than the least happy heterosexuals. When looking at the data, we controlled for a number of things – such as age, employment, personality, and location – to make sure our results focused solely on sexual identity.

    While other studies have looked at the “average” effect of sexual identity on happiness (where it has been shown that sexual minorities report lower levels of life satisfaction), my colleagues and I considered the whole well-being distribution. That is, we looked at the differences between heterosexuals and sexual minorities at the lowest, average, and highest levels of self-reported life satisfaction.

    Our results are clear that sexual identity is correlated with life satisfaction, but it is a nuanced picture. We found that homosexual males are less happy with their lives than heterosexual males, except for at the very top of the well-being distribution (where they are happiest). We also saw that homosexual females are happier with their lives than heterosexual females. Although interestingly that is except for at the lowest levels of well-being.

    How to accept a close friends sexual orientation

    Bisexuals – irrespective of gender – report the lowest levels of life satisfaction, and the loss to well-being associated with being bisexual (rather than heterosexual) is at least comparable to the effect of being unemployed or having ill-health. In fact, out of all the sexual identities analysed we found that bisexuals are the least satisfied with their lives.

    “Other” sexual identities are associated with lower levels of life satisfaction in the bottom half of the distribution, but higher life satisfaction in the top half. This means that the least happy people with an other sexual identity are less happy than their heterosexual counterparts. But the happiest people with an other sex identity are actually happier than their heterosexual counterparts.

    While our findings highlight the importance of gender (or more precisely its interaction with sexual identity), this is only relevant for homosexuals. As noted above, the results for homosexual males and homosexual females are drastically different This makes sense considering that other research has highlighted that societal attitudes towards lesbians are more preferential than to gay males. So it is likely that the higher life satisfaction reported by lesbians (compared to heterosexual women) is associated with these more positive societal attitudes.

    Identity and acceptance

    Looking to our findings for other sexual identities, we believe that growing awareness (for example due to increased representation on television) is likely to have reduced the need for some people to “explain” their identity to others. This will have made reaffirming the validity of their sexuality to themselves easier too. If we couple this with increasing self-awareness of an identity that gives meaning to attractions (or lack thereof), the positive well-being identified for this group is understandable.

    While it could be argued that the same should be true of bisexuals, there is a significant difference between bisexuality and “other” identities. Bisexuality is an identity that has existed significantly longer and was part of the original LGBT movement. And yet the greater minority stress experienced by bisexuals is likely a reflection of how they experience stigmatisation from both heterosexual and homosexual communities through bi-erasure and lack of acceptance of bisexuality.

    Overall our research shows that people with a minority sexual identity are on average less satisfied with their lives, but across the distribution of well-being a more positive picture emerges. If we look at other research into the different societal attitudes and growing acceptance towards certain sexual identities, it is clear that being accepted is important. Facing ostracisation on the basis of your sexual identity has a large negative impact on how satisfied you are with your life.

    Regardless of where you live on this great, big Earth, chances are you will eventually interact in some way with a culture that is different from your own. When most people think about culture, their first thoughts involve race or ethnicity. Culture goes far beyond that, however. In fact, we are all members of various cultural groups and our cultural identities develop based on the influence of these memberships. Like most things that make you who you are, the development of your cultural identity is an ongoing process. As we are exposed to different sets of beliefs and values, we may adopt other cultural beliefs that were not part of our original makeup. In this way, culture is dynamic and complex.

    In addition to race and ethnicity, our cultural orientations are influenced by gender, class, physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual beliefs, age, and much more. The individual is a complex mix of many cultural influences woven together. It is, therefore, impossible to define a person by a single cultural label. To further complicate matters, our cultural histories are filtered by individual psychological characteristics and experiences, ensuring that even those sharing cultural similarities are truly unique.

    How to accept a close friends sexual orientation

    Regardless of our differences, we are the world and this world is for us all.

    The 10 Cultural Universals

    There are certain things that are a part of every culture. These things are called cultural universals. Though the elements within each will differ, every culture includes:

    1. Geography: Location, land, flora, fauna, and other natural resources.

    2. Family and Kin: Roles of males, females, children, elders, etc. These include the division of labor, child training, and rites of passage.

    3. Political Organizations: Laws and rules, government, law enforcement, warfare, and peace.

    4. Language: Includes spoken, written, sign language, body language, and number systems.

    5. Food, Clothing, Transportation, and Shelter: Includes everyday wear and ceremonial wear. Includes types of housing and building materials.

    6. Technology: Includes inventions, tools and weapons.

    7. Beliefs, Values, and Rituals: Religious beliefs and practices; birth and death rituals; myths and legends. Also includes attitudes toward the "unknown" and scientific understandings.

    8. Economics: Includes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, jobs, trade, and money.

    9. Creative Expression: Includes dance, music, literature, games, and leisure activities.

    10. Education: Can be formal and/or informal. Includes knowledge needed for survival, training, and the passing on of group values.

    Elements of Culture

    Culture is a system of shared beliefs that are used by a society in order to interact with the world, as well as with each other. Often, we think of the food, music, clothing, and holidays that are shared by a group as their culture, but these are only some of the elements. Other elements include customs, values, behaviors, and artifacts. Culture is, therefore, a combination of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs shared by those of the same racial, ethnic, religious, or other social group. Many of these groups we are born into (such as racial and ethnic groups) and others we choose (such as religious or political groups). Many of us move between groups, adjusting our ideas and beliefs as we grow and learn.Those who go through cultural shifts may adopt new customs, but they will also retain elements of their previous cultural experiences.

    How to Be Culturally Responsive

    The ability to learn from and relate respectfully to people of your own culture as well as others' is known as "cultural responsivity." Being culturally responsive requires openness to the viewpoints, thoughts, and experiences of others. This is not about changing others to be more like you. Instead, it is about exploring and honoring the differences of others. Developing a cultural- responsive attitude is a life-long journey. It includes:

    1. Developing cultural self-awareness. What influenced your own cultural identity? What values and beliefs do you hold and why? Understanding your own cultural makeup is the first step to understanding that others hold different values and beliefs and believe in them as much as you believe in yours.
    2. Learn to appreciate and value diverse views. Do not judge views that differ from yours as wrong. Instead, just accept that they are different and even try to understand other points of view.
    3. Avoid imposing your own values. Once you are aware of cultural differences, you may find that the cultural norms of some groups make you uncomfortable. Again, it is important to resist the urge to judge. Instead, make a conscious effort to understand the other perspective.
    4. Resist stereotyping. Avoid all stereotypes whether "negative" or "positive." Statements such as "blondes are dumb" or "Asians are good at math" will never be true of all individuals within that population. Furthermore, there will always be individuals outside of that population who will also fit that statement. Stereotypes are therefore unreliable and untrue.
    5. Learn what you can. Reading about or talking to members of another culture or visiting a friend's cultural celebration is a great way to increase your knowledge and overall acceptance.
    6. Accept your own naïveté. Cultural responsiveness may require you to forgive your own mistakes and ignorance. Don't dwell on them. Instead, learn from them.

    Breaking culturally-accepted norms makes people uncomfortable.

    You’ve learned something important about yourself and now you want to share this with your family, friends, or other people. Or you might not feel like sharing right now.

    It’s normal to wonder about coming out (telling people that you are a member of the LGBTQ+ communities).

    You might feel relief that you finally get to be your true, authentic self. But you probably also think about how your world could change if you do share: How will people react? Will the people you tell spread the word to someone you’d prefer didn’t know? Is it safe to come out?

    There are lots of reasons why people choose to come out. Here are a few:

    • They’re ready to start dating and want close friends and family members to know.
    • They don’t want people making assumptions about them or gossiping.
    • They’re tired of hearing other people use stereotypes or negative labels.
    • They feel like they’re living a lie or not acting true to themselves and want to feel accepted for who they really are.

    There are also plenty of reasons why people decide not to come out, such as:

    • They’re not yet sure about who they are or how they feel. They’re still trying to figure things out for themselves.
    • They’re afraid they’ll face bullying, harassment, discrimination, or even violence.
    • Their families, friends, or community don’t know, and they worry about what might happen if people found out.
    • They live in a community that has not being very accepting of LGBTQ+ people.

    Coming out can be more complicated for teens who depend on parents or other adults for care and well-being. Some people who come out live in places where being LGBTQ+ is accepted. They’re more likely to get support from family and friends. Each person should consider their own situation. It’s different for everyone.

    Most people come out gradually. They start by telling a counselor or a few close friends or family. A lot of people tell a counselor or therapist because they want to be sure their information stays private. Some call an LGBTQ+ support group so they can have help working through their feelings about identity or coming out.

    Things to Keep in Mind

    Coming out is a big and personal decision. You won’t know how people will react until the time comes.

    Sometimes you can get clues about how people think from the way they talk about LGBTQ+ people: Are they open-minded and accepting, or negative and disapproving?

    You can get an idea of how people think by bringing up LGBTQ+ issues. Listen to how people respond when you ask questions like these: “I’ve been reading about gay marriage. What are your thoughts on it?” Or, “My cousin’s school is raising money to help a transgender student who is homeless. Is that something you’d donate to?”

    Even when you think someone might react positively to your news, there’s still no guarantee. Everyone responds based on their own situations: Parents who accept an LGBTQ+ friend may be upset when their own child comes out. It could be because they worry their child might face discrimination. Or it could be they struggle with beliefs that being LGBTQ+ is wrong.

    Here are things to keep in mind when you’re thinking of coming out:

    Trust Your Gut

    Don’t feel forced to come out by friends or situations. Coming out is a process. Different people are ready for it at different times in their lives. You might want to be open about who you are, but you also need to think about your own safety. If there’s a risk you could be physically harmed or thrown out of the house, it’s probably safer not to share. Instead, call a helpline like the GLBT National Youth Talkline to get advice and support based on your situation.

    Weigh all the Possibilities

    Ask yourself these questions: “How might coming out make my life more difficult? How could it make things easier? Is it worth it?” The Trevor Project’s Coming Out Handbook has lots of tips and things to think about. If you’re thinking about coming out to anyone at your school, consider reading GLSEN’s Coming Out at School guide first.

    Have a Support System

    If you can’t talk openly about your identity, or if you’re trying to figure out if you should come out, it can help to speak to a counselor or call an anonymous helpline, like the GLBT National Youth Talkline.

    Having support systems in place can help you plan how to come out (or not). Support systems can also help you cope if any reactions to your coming out aren’t what you expected, or if you need emergency shelter.

    Let Go of Expectations

    People you come out to might not react the way you expect. You will probably find that some relationships take time to settle back to what they were. Some might change permanently. Friends and family members — even the most supportive parents — may need time to get used to your news.

    Identify Peer Pressure

    Coming out is your decision and your decision alone. Even if other people you know have come out or if you’ve come out to some but not others, no one has a say in when, how, or who you come out to.

    Think About Privacy

    You might have friends who are mature enough to respect personal, private information and keep it to themselves. But whenever you share information, there’s a risk it could leak to people you might not want to know.

    Therapists and counselors are required to keep information you share private — but only if they think you won’t hurt yourself or others. If a counselor thinks you might harm yourself or someone else, they are required to report it.

    It’s a Lifelong Process

    Coming out is a lifelong process. If you choose to come out, that’s important to remember — and not be discouraged by. You will make new friends, family, meet new partners, and join new companies throughout your life. If you choose to come out, then you will have to do it countless times.

    It may get easier as you become more confident and social attitudes progress, but sometimes it may be as scary as the first time. Always put your safety and well-being first.

    Coming out is a personal choice. Take time to think about what’s right for you.

    How to accept a close friends sexual orientation

    Teenagers at this time have grown up on the web, and social media has served as an area the place LGBTQ youth particularly can develop their identities.

    Scholarship concerning the on-line experiences of LGBTQ youth has historically centered on cyberbullying. However understanding each the dangers and the advantages of on-line assist is vital to serving to LGBTQ youth thrive, each on- and offline.

    I’m a senior analysis scientist learning the advantages and challenges of teen social expertise and digital media use. My colleagues, Rachel Hodes and Amanda Richer, and I lately performed a research on the social media experiences of LGBTQ youth, and we discovered that on-line networks can present essential assets for them to discover their identities and interact with others in the neighborhood.

    The elevated danger of cyberbullying that LGBTQ youth face is well-documented. LGBTQ youth are virtually 3 times extra doubtless to be harassed on-line than their straight, cisgender friends. This can lead to elevated charges of melancholy and emotions of suicide: 56% of sexual minorities expertise melancholy, and 35% expertise suicidal ideas as a direct results of cyberbullying.

    Nevertheless, the digital panorama could also be shifting.

    Our 2019 survey of 1,033 kids ages 10 to 16 discovered no distinction between the quantity of cyberbullying reported by straight versus sexual minority youth residing in a comparatively progressive a part of the U.S. identified for legalizing homosexual marriage. Some social media platforms like Tumblr are thought-about a safer haven for sexual minorities than others, particularly through the COVID-19 lockdown. That is regardless of previous censorship of LGBTQ content material on sure platforms on account of biases within the algorithm.

    LGBTQ youth are likely to have smaller on-line social networks than their straight friends. We discovered that LGBTQ youth had been considerably much less doubtless than their straight friends to interact with their on-line pals. Conversely, LGBTQ youth usually tend to have pals they know solely on-line, and to understand these on-line pals as considerably extra socially supportive than their in-person pals.

    The LGBTQ youth we surveyed in our research had been extra more likely to be part of an internet group as a way to cut back social isolation or emotions of loneliness, suggesting that they had been in a position to attain out to and interact with social media networks exterior of their in-person peer circles in supportive and fortifying methods.

    Regardless of residing in an space with increased ranges of acceptance towards sexual minorities, our research members felt a must hold elements of their identities separate and hidden on-line. They had been much less doubtless than non-LGBTQ youngsters to be pals with relations on-line and extra more likely to be part of social media websites their dad and mom would disapprove of. And about 39% stated they’d nobody to speak to about their sexual orientation in any respect.

    Not simply surviving, however thriving on-line

    Regardless of the chance of on-line harassment and isolation, social media can provide LGBTQ youth area to discover their sexual identities and promote psychological well-being.

    In 2007, Australian researchers performed one of many earliest research on how web communities function protected areas for LGBTQ youth who face hostile environments at dwelling. Their surveys of 958 youth ages 14 to 21 discovered that the anonymity and lack of geographic boundaries in digital areas present an excellent follow floor for popping out, partaking with a communal homosexual tradition, experimenting with nonheterosexual intimacy and socializing with different LGBTQ youth.

    The web additionally gives essential assets about LGBTQ matters. LGBTQ youth might use on-line assets to teach themselves about sexual orientation and gender id terminology, study gender transition and discover LGBTQ areas of their area people. The web may also be a great tool to establish LGBTQ-friendly physicians, therapists and different care suppliers.

    Lastly, on-line platforms can function springboards for LGBTQ activism. A 2013 report by the Homosexual, Lesbian & Straight Training Community surveying 1,960 LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 18 discovered that 77% had taken half in an internet group supporting a social trigger. Whereas 68% of LGBTQ youth additionally volunteered in-person, 22% stated they solely felt comfy getting concerned on-line or by way of textual content. This indicators that on-line areas could also be essential assets to foster civic engagement.

    Whereas social media is just not with out its risks, it could possibly usually function a instrument for LGBTQ youth to construct stronger connections to each their native and digital communities, and talk about social points essential to them.

    This text is republished from The Dialog underneath a Inventive Commons license. Learn the authentic article.