I knew at a young age that I liked guys. My attractions weren’t sexual, just emotional. In middle school, though, my attractions did become sexual. In the summer of 8th grade, I came out. I was 15.
Today, my story resembles many other middle school students who are also coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. In a culture that supports all sexual orientations, many students today coming out before many even begin to drive. This is scary in one aspect alone: us adults don’t know how to deal with it, especially those of us in the Church. Coming from a Christian view here, many youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, small group leaders, and the like, have no clue how to handle a student who boldly declares at 15, “I’m gay.” It’s time to get educated, Church!
This is one reason why six11 ministries exists – to help disciple the Church in effectively reaching out to and loving the gay community at large, especially when it comes to students (junior high and senior high).
Here’s is an article in the New York Times that has been making its rounds through the web. It talks about the growth of middle school students who are coming out and declaring that they’re gay. Another article, also by the NYT highlights some discussion about the pressures GLBTQ students face when coming out, and some (negative) results from it – like teens being kicked out of their homes. Both are a great read.
*The cardboard sign says: 26% of gay teens who come out to their parents are asked to leave home.