More than half of gay and bisexual Gen Z boys say they've come out to their parents
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A landmark new study has found that LGBTQ boys from Gen Z (1998 to 2010) are much more comfortable being open about their sexuality than previous generations.

The study, published in the journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, found that 66% of gay or bisexual boys between the ages of 13 to 18 were "out" to their mothers or other female parental figures, and 49% were out to their fathers or male prenatal figure.

The study examined 1,194 boys aged 13-to-18 who identify as gay, bisexual, or as being attracted to people regardless of gender.


That's a massive uptick since the 1990s when an estimated 40% of gay and bisexual male teens were out to their mothers and only 30% to their fathers.

"This study is encouraging in that it shows that many teens, including those under 18 years old, are comfortable with their sexuality," said lead author David A. Moskowitz, PhD, assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University's Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing.

"At the same time, we must be cautious, as the data also point to some of the same barriers and discrimination that previous generations have faced. Work still needs to be done," Moskovitz continued.

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The study found that white teens were more likely to come out to their parents than Black teens and that religious affiliation also plays a big role in determining who comes out.

Participants who aren't religious were more likely to come out to their parents than those who are.

"This gives us an understanding of the factors that move teenagers to share this type of information with the people closest to them," said Moskowitz. "We can now compare these practices with how other generations deal with these issues and think about what it all means for future generations."

One reason why Generation Z is more comfortable being out of the closet than older generations may be their exposure to a greater number of LGBTQ peers. A poll from last February found that Gen Z is the queerest generation, with 15% of teen respondents identifying as queer, trans, or nonbinary.

The study shows that LGBTQ teens are growing up in a more tolerant world but there is still a disparity between the comfort level male teens have with their mothers and fathers. Dr. Michael C. LaSala says that LGBTQ males have a harder time coming out to their dads due to societal expectations of masculinity.

"They realize if they are being chided in the outside world for not being real men that this will reflect poorly on their dads, who will be angry and disappointed once they come out," LaSala said in Psychology Today.

LaSala believes that many fathers will need to overcome societal pressures in order to be more supportive of their LGBTQ sons.

"Certainly all fathers need to show that they love their sons and daughters, but fathers of gay sons need to find ways to surmount the barrier of homophobia and socially scripted queasiness about gay sex to show their sons that they are indeed lovable and deserve the love of a good man," LaSala adds.

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Overall, the study is great news for the LGBTQ community because those who are open about their sexuality suffer fewer psychological problems than those who are not.

Lesbians, gays, and bisexuals who were out and open about their sexuality are less likely to have anxiety, depression, and burnout. They also produce less cortisol, the hormone associated with stress.

Gay and bisexual men who are out of the closet are also are more physically fit and have lower rates of depression than straight men.

Moskowitz believes that the research can be used to help even more young men accept their sexuality. "An important next step would be to determine the coming out practices of females in this age group," Moskowitz said. "This study provides a roadmap for such an effort. In the meantime, these findings should be helpful to those who work with teenagers identifying as sexual minorities."

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

RELATED: A gay couple's pride flag helped give a young teen the courage to come out to their family

One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.