Many gay and lesbians under 18 find it difficult to meet other teenagers like them. Gay dating websites and nightclubs very rarely cater to young people. Here are eight ways to meet gay and lesbian teenagers, to widen social networks, and hopefully end up feeling more accepted.
There are lots of options open for gay and lesbian people over 18 to meet- lots of online dating sites, nightclubs and probably a much wider social circle (because at the very least they’ll probably own a car). But for gays and lesbians under 18, meeting people can be much more difficult. There’s added peer-pressure, and a lot of people around you will be unsure of their sexuality. Someone who’s bisexual or gay one day might not be the next. It’s not their fault, it’s just growing up.
Teenagers generally need guidance when it comes to relationships- it’s one reason that parents are around. But since 99% of parents are heterosexual, gays and lesbians often have to navigate their way through themselves. This works- maybe not perfectly, but it doesn’t cause too many problems- but it could make the few years between coming out and university that bit nicer if there was a little more that people had to say on the matter.
Join the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Society
One of the best things you can do is join the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Society (LGBT Society) at school, if there is one, or a similar alternative. If successful, it’s a sure-fire way to meet people who you know are there for the same reasons. One of the most difficult parts of meeting gay and lesbian people as a teenager is having to guess who’s straight and who’s not. Visiting an LGBT group is an easy way to cut to the chase in this respect. And if there isn’t one at the school you go to, maybe you have the confidence and time to start your own one.
Find an Older Gay friend
This is something that will probably happen naturally – people float towards like-minded people. Finding an older gay friend will hopefully help introduce you to a wider range of gay and lesbians under 18, give you any extra confidence you might need, and can answer questions you might have. Of course, this is easier said than done (which is why this article was written) but it’s something to bear in mind while following the other tips.
These can be few and far between if you live somewhere rural, or in a country that might be less-than-accepting of homosexuality. But when they come around, they’re one of the best ways to meet people- especially if you’re somewhat of a festival-goer in the first place. The various activities make great conversation, and a chance to meet gay and lesbian people under 18 that have similar interests to you. Not only that, but there will be many organizations advertising in some events and if any grab your attention, feel free to join them!