How to Make Friends in the GLBT Teen Community

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Finding Your Place in the GLBT Teen Community

lesbian teen couple holding hands
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Feeling like you are the only gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender teen can be pretty awful. Most of us like to have a community that we can feel a part of and gay teens are no different. However, it can be tough stuff, finding other gay teens. But rest assured, it can be done. Whether you are hoping to meet friends, or interested in dating, it is likely someone else is in the same boat.

You can work on finding other gay teens locally, or you can use the internet to make connections with GLBT teens from all over. And while there are certain precautions you should take, both online or off, meeting people who get you, can be done.

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Finding Friends in Your Area

The way you are going to go about making gay friends and finding other gay teens will depend somewhat on where you live. If you live in a large metropolitan area, it might be easier than if you are in a rural or suburban community.

But even if you don't live in a city, don't despair. A surprising number of smaller communities provide services for GLBT youth. There are a number of ways to go about finding other gay teens in your area!

The organization Advocates For Youth runs an awesome GLBT youth website called Youth Resource. Just like the name implies, it has some excellent resources for GLBT teens.

Make sure to check out their very comprehensive ​list of youth programs. All you have to do is type in your state.

You can also contact your closest GLBT community center and ask if they offer any teen or youth programs.

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Finding Friends Online

Joining a group isn't going to work for everyone. Maybe there just isn't one in your area. Maybe your folks are going to create too many obstacles. Or maybe the thought of participating in activities with strangers just isn't your cup of tea.

In that case, you might want to consider going online to make gay friends or meet other gay teens.

To start you can check out the forum section of this website. There are always lots of interesting discussions going on. Teens from around the country (and sometimes from around the world!) weigh in on everything from romance to politics.

As one teen says of his experience on the forum:

"I came out to everyone at school, and I was having a difficult time coping when I came out, and dealing with my severely conservative Christian parents. I ran off one day in a fit of tears looking for someone to talk to that had all of the answers. I had used for a project at school, and I asked myself, who would be able to understand me most....a gay teenager like myself...hhhmm...I'll search it...on this website!! I found one of my dearest friends on here that first day. No matter what I am going through he can always make me laugh. Every time I get on the computer here at the library, I go to Facebook, Myspace, and this forum."

The forum is a safe space, moderated by an adult, where teens can be themselves and meet other kids going through similar experiences.

Unfortunately, not all teen chat sites are legitimate. If you search for things like lesbian teen chat or gay teen chat, you might stumble across everything from people trying to sell you something to pornography. Just be careful and only use sites you can trust.​

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Finding Friends at School

One of the most common places to meet people is at school. But how do you make gay friends and find other gay teens at school when often no one else is openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?

Another option is to get involved or start a Gay/Straight Alliance in your school.

Gay/Straight Alliances haven't always been around. In fact, GSAs really only began to emerge in the 1990s as a way for GLBT teens and their allies to connect, find support and provide education.

But keep in mind, if you aren't ready to look for other GLBT teens in your high school, there's always college. In fact, a lot of GLBT students specifically look for gay-friendly colleges. To get started, check out the organization, Campus Pride which ranks colleges based on how GLBT-friendly they are. And what makes a college-friendly? The atmosphere as well as GSAs, GLBT student groups, even queer studies departments.

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How to Stay Safe

Whether you meet someone online or at the local mall, there are some safety concerns that you need to keep in mind.

Tips for Online Safety

  • Don't give out personal information (like your full name, address, phone number).
  • Remember, not everyone is who they seem to be online. The 16-year-old girl who loves all the same bands as you and also fights about curfews with her mom might really be someone middle-aged, just looking for a laugh or worse.
  • If you agree to meet, do so in a public place! Better yet, in a public place and with a friend in tow.

General Safety Tips

  • Be as upfront with your parents as possible! Always have a way for them to find you and make sure to call them if anything seems dicey.
  • Always tell someone who you are with and where you will be.
  • Trust your instincts. If something seems fishy or makes you uncomfortable, leave.
  • Your safety is way more important than the possibility of hurting someone else's feelings.