Though many GLBT teens are in healthy, positive relationships, there are a variety of reasons that queer youth might also find themselves in unhealthy or risky relationships. Some of these reasons include having low self-esteem, not being able to meet a lot of potential partners, and having to keep a relationship secret. If you think you face some of these risk factors, it is a really good idea to get a handle on what a healthy relationship does and doesn't look like. Here are some relationship tips and red flags that all GLBT teens need to understand.
The fact of the matter is, people who feel bad about themselves are more likely to get into unhealthy or abusive relationships than are folks who have higher self-esteem. And once you are in an unhealthy situation, it can be hard to see a way out. It can be hard to talk to people about being in an unhealthy relationship--especially if you aren't out about being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, and are keeping the relationship private. But doing so can be the first step in getting out a bad situation. If you can't talk to your parents or friends, please think about talking to a guidance counselor, teacher, friend's parent, older family member, or your doctor... Read more
Are you a GLBT teen who has never felt jealous in a relationship? If so, you are in the minority. At some point or other almost everyone has experienced relationship jealousy, and that's okay. What isn't okay is dealing with your feelings irrationally or taking out your own insecurities on your partner... Read more
Abusive relationships can be really complicated. When gay teens are involved in them, they can also be hard for the outside world to identify. Partly, that's because a lot of people assume that the typical abusive scenario involves a male abusing a female. But as any GLBT victim can tell you, this isn't always the case. Another problem is that teens may not be out and this can make it hard for them to reach out for help and support... Read more
Most experts agree that the rate of domestic violence among same sex couples is similar to rates of violence against women by men, and that abusive GLBT relationships have similar power imbalances and control issues to those found in straight relationships. One difference, however, is that GLBT teens may be even less likely to report dating violence than are straight teens. This can happen if a teen is afraid of being outed, or is worried about confronting homophobic police or service providers...Read more
Though straight teens often have older boyfriends, and sometimes have older girlfriends, there are a few reasons why this scenario is really common in the GLBT teen community. And while it isn't always unhealthy, both for legal and emotional reasons there are many issues to consider when dating someone older. For example, does your partner have a history of dating teens, are you on equal footing and can anyone get in trouble (either with parents or the law) for the relationship...Read more
Sometimes it seems as if the people you meet are only interested in sex and not in relationships. If you aren't into that, this can be frustrating and painful. Sometimes teens have sex with someone hoping that doing so will lead to the relationship they crave. And while you can say this never works, doing so can be risky on a few levels... Read more
How can gay, lesbian and bisexual teens tell if their relationships are healthy? A good way to start is by seeing if they meet eight important criteria on this healthy relationship checklist. They are respect, support, trust, honesty, equality, independence, communication, compatibility. Have these elements and you are off to a good start... Read more