There is no one story of lesbian teen struggles, because there is no one kind of teen, thus the stories of lesbian teen struggles are as diverse as the teens themselves. However, many elements of these stories are the same.
Lesbian teens have many of the same challenges as straight teens, including school, extracurricular activities, and worry that they will not be able to live up to parents’, family, or church expectations.
With the onset of puberty as teens start having romantic relationships, their feelings of awkwardness increase. For the lesbian teen, the fear that their families and religious communities will not accept them increases that awkwardness and stress.
Some lesbian teens have known from a young age that they have same sex attractions, while others only begin to recognize that they are lesbian during the onset of puberty. Most teens fear rejection from friends and peers to some degree, however, this is increased significantly for individuals who do not conform to gender stereotypes.
To add to their stress, lesbian teens have fewer role models. Parents and other supports may not be emotionally or intellectually available to support lesbian teens during this critical time in the development of self. The teen years are very much a training period for adulthood, and if teens do not have role models, finding their place and role in life becomes difficult. In addition, the vast majority of lesbian youth report that they have suffered physical or verbal harassment.
Each teen’s story is unique, depending upon the amount of pressure by parents to meet expectations, level of acceptance from families and religious communities, acceptance of peers, and availability of role models. Each teen’s story as they struggle against stereotypes is unique. However, with help, stories of lesbian teen struggles can end with positive outcomes.