More than half of gay and bisexual Gen Z boys say they've come out to their parents
via Pexels

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.

via Pexels

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.

via Pexels

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

Temwa Mzumara knows firsthand what it feels like to watch helplessly as a loved one fights to stay alive. In fact, experiencing that level of fear and vulnerability is what inspired her to become a nurse anesthetist. She wanted to be involved in the process of not only keeping critically ill people alive, but offering them peace in the midst of the unknown.

"I want to, in the minutes before taking the patient into surgery, develop a trusting and therapeutic relationship and help instill hope," said Mzumara. Especially now, with Covid restrictions, loved ones are unable to be at the side of a patient heading to surgery which makes the ability to understand and quiet her patients' fears such an important part of what she does.

Temwa | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Dedicated to making a difference in the lives of her patients, Nurse Mzumara is one of the four nurses featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series by CeraVe® that honors nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to their patients and communities.

Keep Reading Show less
Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

Keep Reading Show less
True

Nicole Abate, a Registered Medical-Surgical Nurse living in New Mexico, starts her workday around 5:00 a.m. During her 20-minute drive to work, she gets to watch the sun rise over the Sandia Mountains as she sips her coffee.

"It's one of my favorite things to do," said Nurse Abate. "A lot of us need a little calm before the storm."

Nicole | Heroes Behind the Masks Presented by CeraVe youtu.be

In March 2020, after a fairly quiet start to the year, Nurse Abate's unit became the official COVID unit for her hospital. "It went full force after that," she says. Abate was afraid, overwhelmed with uncertainty, never knowing what was next on the wild roller coaster in this new territory, "just when you think ...we know exactly what we're doing, boom, something else hits so you adapt… that's part of nursing too." Abate faced her responsibilities courageously and with grace, as she always does, making life a little better for patients and their families "Thank you for taking care of my father," reads one recent letter from a patient's family. "You were kind, attentive and strong and we are truly grateful."

Keep Reading Show less