Eric Marcus

Out In Middle School. I'm Lonely. Help! Part 3

Filed By Eric Marcus | June 15, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: gay youth, GSA, LGBT youth

There is one question that I'm asked by young teens more often than any other and that's the question "Miserable in Middle School" asked me in the third and final part of our e-mail conversation. Here's the question:

i wanted to know if you had any suggestions on how to meet other gay/bi/lesbian people. do you have any ideas?

Like most young teens who write to me, Miserable in Middle Schools has found adults she can talk to but longs for the company of other teens like herself and doesn't know how to find them. My answer to Miserable in Middle School follows after the jump.

Dear "Miserable in Middle School,"

At your age this is a really big challenge. First of all, there are very few young teens who are out to themselves or anyone they know. I suggest you check out the GLSEN, GSA, and HMI web sites to see if there are any online groups where you can be in touch with other gay/bi/lesbian teens (I also list some gay teen web sites in my book and on my web site).

It's also possible that there may be a gay youth group in your community or in a nearby city. Have you done any research to find out? You may have to hang on until you get to high school. Am I remembering correctly that you said the high school you'll be going to has a GSA? Would they let you attend meetings now? This is something you should ask your school counselor.

Let me know if you have any other questions. All best, Eric

So I'm looking for a little help here. In the "comments" section please post your thoughts on what other resources and strategies you might recommend to young teens who are looking for other kids like themselves in the communities where they live and/or online. Thanks!

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I think going to the local LGBT Community Center is a good option. If they need anonymity, they can always look at groups like GLSEN and see if they have support groups or online forums for LGBT youth.

I also think reading LGBT focused blogs, like this one or even some of the smaller personal ones, and interacting in the comments section is a great way to meet other like-minded youth.

Facebook and MySpace are also good sources for social interaction. Here in Indiana, there's the Indiana Youth Group in Indianapolis. I can't speak highly enough of them.

tobyhannabill | June 16, 2008 11:08 AM

I am one of the volunteer organizers at our local NEPA Pridefest 2008 here in Pennsylvania. It is our first festival since 2005. We intend for it to be a FREE & Open To The Public event that takes place in a very popular park. We intend for it to be very family oriented and youth friendly.

In junior high I just sucked it up and took it. I know that isn't the best option, but I wasn't even thinking about being out at that point.

My city was also to far away from any GSA's to have been able to get to them. But the internet is a great resource, especially if she's already out to her parents (if she isn't, tell her to wikipedia cookies and history lists!).