Adolescent health care providers frequently care for patients who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT), or who may be struggling with or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity. Whereas these youth have the same health concerns as their non-LGBT peers, LGBT teens may face additional challenges because of the complexity of the coming-out process, as well as societal discrimination and bias against sexual and gender minorities. The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine encourages adolescent providers and researchers to incorporate the impact of these developmental processes (and understand the impacts of concurrent potential discrimination) when caring for LGBT adolescents. The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine also encourages providers to help positively influence policy related to LGBT adolescents in schools, the foster care system, and the juvenile justice system, and within the family structure. Consistent with other medical organizations, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine rejects the mistaken notion that LGBT orientations are mental disorders, and opposes the use of any type of reparative therapy for LGBT adolescents.
Copyright © 2013 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.