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

J LGBT Youth. 2012 Winter;9(1):22-41. doi: 10.1080/19361653.2012.628230.


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.