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Question
Posted by: whatwhat 24 | 2007/03/01

teenagers and homosexuality

hi all

i have been approached by one of the teachers at school who knows i am gay. She teaches life orientation and counsels a number of our learners. She asked if i had any info on the following:

She says it has become apparent to her that a number of our learners are engaging in same-sex experimentation. She wants to know whether i think these learners doing this are in fact trying to decipher their sexual orientation or are doing it for the hell of it; because it is rebellious etc. She places her question against the background of madonna kissing britney; nelly furtado labelling herself bisexual; shows such as will and grace; queer eye for the straight guy. It seems being gay is not the great 'taboo' it used to be, or is it? is it a phase or rebellion or is it genuine?

thanks for the info / advice, it's great to know there is somewhere to go to get reliable info on this stuff

have a good one

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi again Whatwhat and thanks for posting here.

Children and adolescents have always engaged in sexual exploration - this is absolutely normal and doesn't necessarily indicate their sexual orientation. There is certainly more exposure to gay-related themes in the mass media than a decade or two ago, which has helped to 'normalise' homosexuality to some extent by making people aware that they needn’t fear the unknown. It is most unlikely that Madonna et al are causing more people to experiment with various aspects of sexuality - but it is possible that young people exploring their sexuality experience less anxiety and fear about it than they did two generations ago. Explain to your teacher that we're all located on a continuum between being 100% straight and 100% gay; whether we label ourselves straight, bisexual or gay is not really important. What matters is that everyone should feel comfortable expressing their love and sexuality in the manner they choose as long as no one else is compromised in the process.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: whatwhat 24 | 2007/03/05

i'm lesbian Semime, for what it's worth. why do you ask?

:)

Reply to whatwhat 24
Posted by: Junior | 2007/03/03

When I came out to the school counsilor, she was also very interested to learn about Gay culture and what it means to be Gay. Maybe they just want to be educated?

I think that Confused has given some excellent advise above. I believe that, to be Gay is still considered as one of the great taboo's of society and that this is what attracts some teenagers to lable themselves as such. I would suspect that it could be a call for help, or attention.

That being said, this is a negligable portion of Gay teenagers. Most are actually Gay and are trying to come to terms with their sexual orientation. I would advise your teacher to view each person as an individual case and not to make broad assumptions about "All Gay Teenagers".

On the issue of bisexuality, I think that recently it has, to some extent, become a fashion statement (No offense intentde to any Bi ppl). Some Girls tell their boyfriends that they're Bi - which is a turn on for them because they find lesbian sex stimulating. Others just like to remain hetro, while having the lable which, makes them different or special.

As I have said, I think that this is a relatively small percentage of Teenagers who intentionally mislable themselves. The counsillor should not blow off a learner who tells her that he / she is Gay or Bi. Rather believe them and provide suppourt and assistance that they require, you cannot determine a persons sexual orientation - they have to tell you!!!

Reply to Junior
Posted by: SemiMe | 2007/03/02

What what24 are you a guy or a girl? i cant tell by your story.

Greetings,
Blond :P

Reply to SemiMe
Posted by: Confused | 2007/03/01

Being a gay teenager perhaps I can help. Generally speaking kids will do anything a role model does, with refferance to Madonna and Britney. The american nation finds it a status symbol to be bisexual. In america it is sadly just a fad.

American influance aside, I assume that you're talking about an english school? The English have always been a bit more liberal than the Afrikaners. I think the counsellor should find out about the child's history before coming to a conclusion.

With that said, it could be rebellion, which is nothing more than a cry for help. It could be curiosity, which I think is a good thing to satisfy. It could be the gay phase, which is normal. They could very well be gay, which is fine. But what I'm afraid of is them using their "sexual orientation" to impress friends, which is dangerous. So it could be a large number of things (reaction from perants, reaction from freinds a need for attention, blah...).

Some girls will tell their boyfriends that they're bi just to impress them. Once again that comes from america. I believe that to be a dangerous and scarring practice. Each case is unique and has a unique solution. I think it a good idea to let the kids explore and solicit advice. HOWEVER, when these relationships become sexual, hetero or homo, it is very bad.

I'm going to tell you what a gay teacher told me: when you are uncertain of your sexuality: DO NOT experiment. In the long run it'll probibly do more harm than good and only make the raging confusion worse. Let them first admit that they are gay, and work from there. Take everything in steps.

That's my advice.

;-)

Reply to Confused

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