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I’m a gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or questioning (LGBTQ) teen, and I’d like to meet other LGBTQ teens. Where can I do that?

One of the best ways to meet other LGBTQ teens in a welcoming environment is in a support or alliance group. These groups bring together LGBTQ youth to discuss issues like coming out or discrimination. They also help LGBTQ youth make new friends and have a good time in a supportive environment.

Depending on where you live, there may be a group in your school, such as a gaystraight alliance (GSA), or in your community, often organized by teen centers or clinics.

If you live in an area without an existing group, consider starting one.

YouthResource also has excellent search engines for LGBTQ groups and has advice on starting one of your own.

The YouthResource site also includes links to safe online communities, which are a good way to meet other teens if you live in an area where you cannot find or create a suitable group.

As you meet people online, just remember these safety guidelines to make sure you are meeting people who have your best interests in mind:

  •  Use sites that are designed for and used by other teenagers.
  • Never give out personal information, such as your real name, e-mail address, home address, phone number, school name, etc.
  • Read everything someone posts with a critical eye. In other words, you can’t believe everything you read. Take everything with a grain of salt until you’ve verified it.
  • Never meet anyone you meet online face to face, except in a public place with other people present and with your parents’ or guardians’ permission.
  • Don’t tolerate harassment. You never deserve it, and life’s too short to put up with it. If harassment continues through e-mail, text or IM, get help. Your local police station can locate users through their IP address and press charges to make them stop.

What does LGBTQ mean?

LGBTQ stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning.” For some, the Q stands for “queer.” Heterosexual,…

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