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Because survival at school is the priority, many LGBT students experience academic and learning problems.
They may be less involved in school activities and are three times more likely than their heterosexual peers to miss school because they feel unsafe (Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 1999). Rates of suicidal ideation, attempts, and suicide by sexual minority youth are estimated to be two to three times higher than for heterosexual youth.
On the other hand, LGBT youth who do come out face the very real risk of violence, harassment, prejudice, discrimination, and stigmatization.
The stressors related to either hiding or revealing one's sexual identity place sexual minority students at a higher risk for developing mental health, physical, and educational problems.
LGBT youth can begin to feel different from their same gender peers as early as kindergarten although there is no sexual connotation to those feelings.
She currently serves as a school psychologist at a private residential school for at-risk youth.
Many youth who recognize that they are gay or lesbian do not engage in sex, and questioning or heterosexual youth may have sex with a person of the same gender without becoming a sexual minority adult.