A teen writes:
"I need gay friends. My name is Kevin, I'm 15 and I need friends who I can really talk too, because I haven't come out of the closet, so I feel lonely."
Kevin sure isn't the only gay teen who feels like this. A lot of GLBT teens, both those who are out, and those who aren't, long for peers who can understand what they are going through.
That isn't surprising seeing as it is pretty awful to feel like you are the only one experiencing something. And if that something is a deeply personal aspect of your core identity, like your sexual orientation, then making connections with others in the same position is going to be particularly important.
First the good news: there is a thriving GLBT community out there and plenty of teens have found other gay friends.
The bad news is, that if you aren't openly gay, doing so can be harder.
But either way, here are some ways to make gay friends:
Kevin found this site's GLBT teens forum and posted his question there. The GLBT Teens forum is a safe place to connect with other GLBT and questioning teens. It is moderated by an adult and it is an online space where you will likely encounter someone going through something similar to what you are experiencing.
But whether you decide to look for friends on this site or another, please be safe and remember that people are not always who they claim to be online!
You can read more about internet safety for gay teens here.
But the Internet can only offer so much. You might make an awesome friend, but there is no guarantee that this person will ever be someone you meet in real life. Plenty of cities and even smaller towns have programs for GLBT teens. If you are trying to figure out if there is anything in your area, you can check out Advocates For Youth which runs a youth website called Youth Resource that has a really cool list of list of youth programs. Once you are there, type in your state and it will list if there are any GLBT services.
Another thing to do is to get in touch with the closest GLBT community center and ask if they offer any teen or youth programs. If they don't they will likely be able to connect you to someone who does!
Make Gay Friends at School
Most teens make most of their friends at school. Of course, in plenty of schools there aren't any openly gay students. One idea is to be the first to come out and see if anyone else does the same. Now that is pretty gutsy and simply won't be an option for a lot of GLBT teens.Another option is to get involved with or start a Gay / Straight Alliance in your school. Gay / Straight Alliances are student groups that are designed to help GLBT teens and their allies connect and get support.
A straight ally is someone who identifies as heterosexual but supports GLBT rights. Now your straight ally friends might not fully get what you are going through, but they can also be really important support during your search for GLBT friends!