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J LGBT Youth. 2012 Winter;9(1):22-41.

What's Good about Being Gay?: Perspectives from Youth.

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1
Department of Psychology, DePaul University, 2219 N. Kenmore Avenue, Room 420. Chicago, IL 60614.

Abstract

This article explores gay and bisexual male adolescents' positive perceptions of their sexual orientation identity. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with an ethnically diverse sample of 63 gay/bisexual male adolescents in Chicago (N=42) and Miami (N=21). Data revealed two major conceptual categories: 1) positive personal conceptualizations of being gay/bisexual, and 2) resiliency in the face of gay-related oppression. Additional primary themes and sub-themes were identified within each category that further illustrate how gay/bisexual youth were able to develop positive conceptualizations of their sexual orientation despite experiencing negative societal messages about being gay/bisexual. Implications for the development of interventions to promote the health and well-being of gay/bisexual male youth are discussed.

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