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Gay and lesbian teenagers who come out at school leave with higher self-esteem and lower levels of depression than if they had kept it a secret, according to new research.

 

The study, which examined data on 245 gay and lesbian people in their early twenties, also found that they were no more likely to be bullied if they do come out during their school years.

 

Experts at the University of Arizona’s Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families found that gay and lesbian teenagers experienced victimisation and bullying over their sexuality and preferences regardless of whether they came out or not.

 

In an interesting new finding, however, it emerged that those who had come out during their school years had higher self-esteem and life satisfaction in comparison to those who had hidden their sexuality from their peers.

 

 

Professor Stephen Russell, the study’s lead author, said that sharing the essence and intricacies of your identity is vital to your happiness.

 

“Until now, a key question about balancing the need to protect LGBT youth from harm while promoting their well-being has not been addressed: do the benefits of coming out at school outweigh the increased risk of victimisation? Our study points to the positive role of coming out for youth and young adult well-being,” he said.

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