It is also important for parents to watch for behaviors that might indicate their teen is a victim of bullying or violence―or that their teen may be victimizing others.

Parents who talk with and listen to their teen in a way that invites an open discussion about sexual orientation can help their teen feel loved and supported.

Parents should have honest conversations with their teens about sex and how to avoid risky behaviors and unsafe situations. Parents who take time to come to terms with how they feel about their teen’s sexual orientation will be more able to respond calmly and use respectful language.

Most lesbian, gay, bisexual, (LGB) youth are happy and thrive during their adolescent years.

Having a school that creates a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and having caring and accepting parents are especially important.

For youth to thrive in schools and communities, they need to feel socially, emotionally, and physically safe and supported.

A positive school climate has been associated with decreased depression, suicidal feelings, substance use, and unexcused school absences among LGB students.

Parents should develop common goals with their teen, including being healthy and doing well in school. Parents who make an effort to know their teen’s friends and know what their teen is doing can help their teen stay safe and feel cared about. Parents can access many organizations and online information resources to learn more about how they can support their LGB teen, other family members, and their teen’s friends.

Get more information from the CDC Fact Sheet: Parents’ Influence on the Health of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Teens [PDF – 254 KB].

Positive environments can help all youth achieve good grades and maintain good mental and physical health.