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Early Involvement in The LGBT Community Fosters a Sense of Acceptance

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The fear of rejection and serious negative reactions from the family and community are some of the main factors that in the past decades kept many LGBTQ adults and teenagers from openly sharing their sexual orientation. Even today, the LGBTQ community faces discrimination and stigmatization but this is not as it was some decades ago where the community was totally rejected by the society. There is a concern if early involvement in the LGBTQ community is more likely to increase feelings of acceptance later in life that is analysed in the essay about LGBT. Today, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, as well as transgender people usually come out at younger ages due to acceptance in the society and the public support for LGBTQ issues. In any society, individual acceptance helps a person to cope and feel accepted in society either due to his or her disability, social status, and even sexual orientation. 

According to Ryan, children and adolescents who do not behave as per their gender are usually ridiculed by others. Their behavior which is termed as gender non-conforming or gender variant usually makes parents ashamed or embarrassed and usually fear the safety of the children. In today society, adolescents who are transgender or relate to the LGBT community have more access to information about their identity and gender information through LGBT community groups and other community and government resources a situation that helps them to understand their gender identity at younger ages and thus increasing their feeling of acceptance later in life. Nevertheless, this is a different situation form older adults who reveal their sexual orientation when they are old an issue that usually results in rejection in society. Through early involvement in the LGBTQ community, a youth is able to establish his or her peers. According to Higa et al, peers of LGBTQ youth are the most important source of information as well as help. For instance, Higa et al 2014 study showed that many of the LGBTQ youth, as well as their allies, said that their friends are their major source of social support to whom they turn to every time in need. Furthermore, the study showed that LGBTQ youth organizations assist with formal and informal programs for youth where they are able to meet other LGBTQ youth and in a place where they feel they are themselves and accepted. The youth LGBTQ peers, as well as the LGBTQ youth organizations, help the youths to accept themselves which increases their feeling of acceptance even later in life.

In some instances, families are conflicted about their children’s LGBT identity and they usually believe that they can help the child by assisting him or her to fit in with his or her heterosexual peers. The family blocks their child’s gay friends or even LGBT resources with believing that by doing so they are helping the child to be straight. Nevertheless, this makes the child feel that his or her parents do not love him or her; an issue that increases family conflict. To some extent, the conflict can result to the LGBT child been removed or forced out of the home, end up in juvenile detention, placed in foster care, or end up in the streets which increases his or her risk for abuse, mental health problem, and serious health issues. Family rejection poses a serious impact on young LGBT people since they develop lower self-esteem and have fewer people that they can turn to for help. Nevertheless, in case they are valued by their parents and the society the way they are, they learn to have greater self-esteem and are ready to care for themselves not only as teenagers but also in later life for they feel accepted.

According to Ryan, LGBT youth who are accepted by the family, as well as the community, are more likely to believe that they will succeed in life and will be happy, productive adults. Ryan stated that for LGBT youths who face rejection in their families only about 1 in 3 young people believe they will have a good life as a gay while nearly all the LGBT youths who are supported by their families believe they can have a happy productive life as LGBT adults. In this case, the support does not only entail moral support but also resources and been involved in the LGBT community affairs. This shows that early involvement in the LGBT community increases the feeling of acceptance later in life. According to Russell and Fish, parental and peer support for LGBT youth promotes positive mental health, wellbeing, and self-acceptance. The youth who maintain their friends and family members after disclosing their sexual orientation usually have higher levels of self-esteem, fewer suicidal thoughts, and lower levels of depressive symptoms and this continues to their adulthood. Bouris et al, holds that through family support especially the support from parents a child is able to accept him or herself and identify him or herself as a member of the LGBTQ community. This helps the child to develop with a sense of acceptance and not rejection thus helping him or her in accepting life.

According to Russell and Fish, the school environment is important in protecting LGBT youths. The protective school environment helps in mental health for LGBT youth. Youth who leave in states that have enumerated anti-bullying laws which include gender identity and sexual orientation report less homophobic harassment and victimization than those students who attend schools in states that do not have such laws. In schools where there are GSA clubs which are school clubs that unite LGBTQ and allied youth to build the society and deal with issues impacting them, there is prejudice reduction and harassment within the school environment. Students in those schools that have GSAs and SOGI resources usually report feeling safer and are less likely to have depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts, and substance use as compared to LGBT students who are in schools without these resources. These benefits are also seen in later developmental stages since they show better psychological health during their adulthood. In addition, the experience with GSAs usually promotes acceptance of who a person is and a fact that results in increasing a feeling of acceptance not only as a youth but also later in life. According to Russell and Fish, LGBT focused policy, as well as inclusive curriculums, are associated with better psychological adjustments for LGBT students an issue that helps them with coping skills and consequently enhancing their lives in the future.

Early involvement in the LGBTQ community helps youth to develop a sense of identity. According to Higa et al, gaining an identity is a more positive thing than negative light. According to the study while flexible identity can suggest confusion or instability it helps since it is a way of exercising control in not only how they self-identify themselves but also how they represented their gender/sexual identities to others. Having an identity helps in a greater sense of control in own individual life and helps in expressing the sense of pride and not conforming to stereotypical gender roles. Due to the sense of identity at an early age, LGBTQ youth is able to accept him or herself which consequently leads to acceptance later in life. Furthermore, early involvement helps youth to deal with a stigmatized identity like being isolated in school and in the community. Being involved in LGBTQ focus groups helps youth with various methods and support for dealing with stigmatized identity, for instance, some of the ways of coping with stigma is fighting back as well as advocating for LGBTQ rights. This helps a young LGBTQ member to know how to stand and defend him or herself in case of discrimination and helps him or her to develop a sense of acceptance as a community member with his or her rights and thus promoting his or her acceptance even later in life.

Early involvement in the LGBT community helps to deal with clinical implications. By seeking pediatric care an LGBT youth is able to know the effects of family and community non-acceptance and rejection. Furthermore, he or she is able to understand the threats to family acceptance like parental stigma against LGBT sexual orientation, gender-variant identities, and gender non-conformity behavior. This will assist in early intervention especially in case of family non-acceptance risks like substance abuse, depressive symptoms, unprotected sex, and suicidal thoughts among others. With early clinical interventions, some outcomes like mental health problems can be dealt with at early stages and the youth can be assisted on how to accept him or herself an issue that will increase his or her feelings of acceptance in later life.

Even in today’s society, the LGBTQ community faces stigmatization and discrimination based on their sexual orientation. Nevertheless, by a young LGBTQ person involving him or herself in matters regarding the LGBTQ community, he or she is able to increase his or her feeling of acceptance later in life. Involvement in this community helps youth to build a sense of acceptance, identity, know how to cope with stigmatization, discrimination, as well as rejection by the community and family members. Furthermore, involvement helps youth to seek early medical interventions which will help him or her to deal with mental problems that can result in suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, sexually transmitted disease, as well as depressive symptoms among others. It is advisable for LGBTQ youths to involve themselves in the LGBTQ community in order to have a better and productive life in the future.  

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Early Involvement in the LGBT Community Fosters a Sense of Acceptance. (2023, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
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