1. People & Relationships

Discuss in my forum

I'm Gay In a Small Town. Where Can I Get Support?

By

I'm Gay In a Small Town. Where Can I Get Support? Image (c) Hometown Invasion Tour
Question: I'm Gay In a Small Town. Where Can I Get Support?
Answer:

Guess what? Not all GLBT people live in big cities. As many of you probably realize, it's pretty common to be gay in a small town or rural area.

This can make things a little complicated. Maybe you don't know anyone else who's gay. Maybe the nearest community groups for gay teens are hours away and you don't have any way to get there. Maybe your area is hostile and homophobic.

So what can you do? One of the first things is to find support. Try to identify one person you can talk to about being gay.

You can also look for support online. If you decide to do that, a great place to start is the GLBT teens community forum on this site. Teens write about a huge range of issues there. As one teen wrote about coming out in his small town:

"I came to terms with myself in February and I told some of my friends across the street and they were so excited for me. I felt free, and I wanted everyone except for my family to know. I told some people and those people told more people, and living in a small town rumors of my coming out filled my tiny high school. I didn't tell anyone the truth until the third to last day of school. I was so confident in myself that the first person that asked me that day I proudly told them "yes." That person told the entire classroom at that time and I had to answer so many questions that by lunchtime a lot of people knew. I cried so much that day because I was so scared. But it was worth it!"

Of course, everyone's experiences will be different. But while many teens find it really hard to be gay in a small town, others are surprised to learn that they might actually be welcomed by their community.

If you are looking for gay youth groups in your area, you can check out the Advocates for Youth site. They have a tool that allows you to locate all the groups in your state.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.