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Ellen Friedrichs

Ellen's LGBT Teens Blog

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How Can I Convince My Mom Being Gay isn't a Choice?

Thursday May 29, 2014
sexual orientation isn't a choiceYou know what is one of the most upsetting things? Coming out to a parent and then having that parent tell you you have "chosen" to be gay when you know in your heart that this isn't the case. One teen who recently had this happen writes asking for help with a good way to respond...Read more

LGBT Teens Often Crush on Someone Older, But it's Not Always Wise to Make a Move

Wednesday May 28, 2014
lesbian teens holding handsLots of adults date people ten (or more) years older than them, and that is considered socially acceptable. But things are different for teens, both emotionally and legally. So before you move forward on that older boyfriend or girlfriend, there are some pretty key things to consider... Read more...

Intersex or Someone With a Condition of Sex Differentiation?

Tuesday May 27, 2014

What do you think of when you hear the term hermaphrodite? If you said it referred to an animal with both male and female sex organs and the ability to reproduce alone, you'd be correct. If you said it referred to anyone human, you wouldn't be.

But the term hermaphrodite is generally understood to be an offensive one, and starting in the late-1980s, some people who had been referred to as "hermaphrodites" began using the term "intersex" to describe themselves.

One of the benefits of the term "intersex" was that it could address both the physical differences, while also allowing for an identity that wasn't exclusively male or female. This was important because for many people the effects of their medical situations were not only physical, but psychological and emotional as well.

These days, however, most medical professionals and a lot of people with the conditions themselves are using the term "condition of sex differentiation," instead of the term "intersex." Keep reading...

What do you think of these terms?

 

All About the Plus in LGBTQ+

Monday May 26, 2014
lgbt+You have probably noticed that the LGBTQ acronym, which is used when talking about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, or questioning community, is now often accompanied by a "+" sign. This is usually done to be inclusive without being unwieldy. Personally, I like it, as I think it is a good way to open the LGBT community to a wider range of people. But I can also see how some might see it as hierarchical and worry that it gives more weight to being gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender than it does to some of the identities that the plus includes like those who identify as say, pansexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, or allies. Read more What do you think?

Life With Rigid, Transphobic Parents

Wednesday April 30, 2014

A transgender teen who lives with rigid transphobic parents write for help. As she says,

"I want more then anything to transition. I've told some of my friends and have had them change pronouns and call me Anne. The thing is I could never tell my family. And my family has very strict gender rules."

Keep reading...

Sexual Problems and Teen Girls

Monday April 28, 2014
gay pride flagA lot of girl teens have a lot of problems with sex. Maybe it hurts, or they aren't getting turned on, or they would love to know what all the hype about having orgasm is. Here are some issues that sexually active cisgender lesbian, bisexual or pansexual girls might experience and what to do about them: What to Do When Sex is a Pain and Sexual Challenges for Teen Girls

Sexual Performance Problems and Gay Teens

Sunday April 27, 2014
Learning how to have satisfying sex can be a process for sexually active gay teens. Here what you need to know: Sexual Performance Problems and Gay Teens: Part 1 and Part 2. Related: Am I Ready for Sex?

Did You Know That Was Offensive?

Wednesday April 23, 2014

The website gURL.com just published a great article called, "10 Things You Probably Say But Didn't Know Are Actually Offensive." It is really eye-opening and a great reminder for teens on the importance of language.

Among the phrases they see as problematic are:

  • "I'm so OCD!"
  • "I'm really depressed."
  • "Ugh I'm going to kill myself."
  • "I'm so ADD."
  • "I'm so moody! I must be bipolar."
  • "I'm not a feminist."

and one we all know,

As they write in the article,

"The truth is that words, even when unintentional, can be offensive and hurtful. I know it seems like everyone is offended by just about everything, but you don't know everyone's personal situations so having a filter is really important."

Check it out if you get a chance!

Related:

The Power of Words

Today is the Day of Silence

Friday April 11, 2014

day of silence

Today is the Day of Silence.

This is an event that happens every year and which hopes to fight anti-gay bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools.

Teachers and students can take part by spending the day without talking. This is done as a reminder that even today, many GLBT individuals cannot talk openly about who they are.

This year, I am happy to report, that the school where I teach is participating in the Day of Silence for the first time! So far it seems to be going pretty smoothly.

Have you ever been involved in the Day of Silence? How did it go? Are you staying silent today? Let us know!

What's So Scary About Being Gay?

Monday March 31, 2014
stop hate

This week, there was yet another horrific story of a woman and her boyfriend who murdered her 4-year-old son because they thought he was gay! I can't even wrap my brain around this tragedy, but it has made me think a little about the kind of environment that could allow this kind of thinking.

Some researchers think disgust is really what drives trans- and homophobia. But in a case like this, I feel like there has to be more too it.

What do you think?

Read more

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