Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgendered Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other staff.


I'm 17 and have been clear about being gay for a couple of years. Now I want to start dating, but how do I find out if others are gay? I think I know some other gay people, but they haven't said they are.


One approach is to simply to ask the people who interest you if they are lesbian or gay or bisexual. The problem with this strategy, of course, is that you may get negative responses from those who are heterosexual or closeted. Instead, if you know anyone else who is gay, you could ask that person for help with meeting new people.

Also, you might look for places where gay, bisexual and lesbian people gather. If you live in or near a city that has a lesbian, bisexual and gay community center, that's a good place to start. If there is a PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) chapter near you, those meetings are often good places to meet others.

A third possibility is to find an online community and then post a notice asking if there are others who live near you. You'll find links to several sites to online communities in our Links Department.


Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein, Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.


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