Children of Horizons: How Gay and Lesbian Teens Are Leading a New Way Out of the Closet

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März 1996



At Horizons, a lesbian and gay social service agency in Chicago, teens gather weekly to get support and share experiences as they begin the process of coming out. When they first join the group, they are often tentative, lonely, and even suicidal as they face the threat of rejection by family and friends. Gilbert Herdt, an anthropologist, and Andrew Boxer, a developmental psychologist, spent two years studying a diverse group of teens at Horizons. In both personal portraits and accounts of group meetings and activities, the authors follow the youth along a path that takes them from loneliness and secrecy to active participation in public gay and lesbian culture. The authors found that the majority of the youth attending the group were not confused about their sexuality; rather they were fearful and unsure about how to express themselves in an intensely homophobic society. When they feel free to come out of the closet, they emerge from this process both psychologically healthy and as socially competent as their heterosexual peers. For the first time in history, self-identified gay and lesbian youth are coming out while they are still in their teenage years. Despite this unprecedented cultural development, there is almost no information available on their lives. As an invisible minority, stereotypes about them still abound: they are confused, or mentally ill, or corrupted and seduced by older homosexuals into a secret society. Children of Horizons is a groundbreaking study that confronts these myths about gay and lesbian youth and explores their real experiences of coming out. Herdt and Boxer have uncovered an important generational change as attitudes about sexual identity are beginningto free our youth from a crippling self-doubt. This study of a new generation of courageous teenagers promises to change the way people understand gay men and lesbians in American society today.

EAN: 9780807079294
ISBN: 0807079294
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: BEACON
Erscheinungsdatum: März 1996
Seitenanzahl: 328 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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