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"Why Am I Gay?" and Other Real Teen Questions About GLBT Life

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What's the Average Age to Come Out?
question what's the average age people come out

Teen Question Submitted Anonymously to Ellen, "What's the Average Age to Come Out?"

Image (c) Ellen Friedrichs
"What's the average age of when people come out of the closet?"

According to the website Avert.org, "LGBT youth are coming out younger than ever before. Studies have shown that the average age gay and lesbian young people begin the process of coming out is now 16, compared to the 1980's when it was between 19 and 23."

Even if you are comfortable announcing your sexual orientation, deciding when to come out can be tough. Though TV shows and movies may make it seem as if people come out in one big dramatic announcement made over the school's PA system, for most people coming out is more of a process.

Just because there are "average" ages that people come out, that doesn't mean that you will be ready to come out then, or that anything is wrong with you if you come out earlier or later.

Though coming out can be an amazing experience, it is important to think about your reasons for coming out before taking the plunge. Coming out at any age can be challenging, but because teens tend to live with their families, there are a few unique issues young people need to think about. For example, will coming out jeopardize my situation at home? Is it safe, physically and emotionally, for me to come out to my parents? And, do I have resources available (both emotional and financial) if coming out changes my situation at home? Answering these questions can help you decide when it is best to come out!

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