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             Being an adolescent can be tough, there are many difficult times and decisions an adolescence will face. Including dealing with school, parents, boyfriend or girlfriend, attractiveness, popularity, and peer pressure. But can you imagine dealing with all those factors and adding a very large stressful one on to it. Well, unfortunately many homosexuals have the extreme stress of coping with their homosexuality during adolescence, which can be extremely difficult.
             Homosexuality is defined as the persistent sexual and emotional attraction to members of one's own gender and is part of the continuum of sexual expression.
             Lesbian and gay adolescence come from all racial and ethnic groups, all socioeconomic levels, and all religious dominations. They live in small towns and large cities, and rural communities. They are student leaders and active members of civic groups as well as school dropouts and street youth. Lesbian and gay adolescents are indistinguishable from their peers, for the most part. (Ryan and Futterman).
             During adolescence, youth begin to consolidate adult identity. Identity is a complex integration of emotional, cognitive , and social factors that make up a persons sense of self. These include gender, sex roles, personality, and sexual orientation. (Ryan and Futterman).
             Adolescence is a time of exploration and experimentation. Sexual activity, however, does not reflect either present or future sexual orientation. Confusion about sexual orientation is not uncommon in adolescence. Many youth engage in same sex behavior; attractions or behavior does not mean that individual is gay, sexual activity is behavior whereas sexual orientation is a component of identity. Many teens experience a broad range of sexual behaviors that are incorporated into an evolving sexual identity, consolidated over a period of time. (Ryan and Futterman).
             Homosexuality, like heterosexuality, is part of the essence of a person, being male or female, black or white.


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