Columnists » Ask Phyllis

Gay teenager: Can I ever have a good life?

by Phyllis Steinberg
Wednesday Feb 16, 2011

Dear Phyllis,

I am 15 years old. I want to be happy. I want a good life but I don't like who I am. I am not like most everyone else. When I look ahead to the future, I don't see anything good for me. I will still be me. Can I ever have a good life? Why do I have to be gay?


Dear Frank,

The teenage years are difficult for everyone. It is a time when one is not a child any more and not yet an adult. As a gay teen in a predominantly straight world, you have extra issues to deal with. Try to be patient. Life does get better.

On Oct. 12, 2010, Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns displayed tremendous personal courage as he spoke out publicly at a City Council meeting in the hope that teens would hear the truth that things do change. He spoke of his painful teenage years and how things got better for him in his life. He said he wished he could have shown his teenage self his future by taking "... the 13 year old Joel to election night 2007 in a room filled with countless family and friends erupting in cheers when it became clear that I would win my first election so that he could see the love and support for me that was in the room that night."

When The Right Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, was a teenager in the 1960s, the word homosexual was unspeakable. He thought of himself as an abomination. Self hatred and fear was always with him. He could never have imagined what an honor and privilege was ahead for him when he became the first openly gay elected bishop. He says, "Young people who do not yet know that God loves them beyond their wildest imaginings are hating themselves for who they are. They are not an abomination, they are gloriously made precisely as God wants them to be."

There are so many other people who have felt as you do when they were teenagers and yet they forged ahead and succeeded in life. I have mentioned only two examples but there are many other success stories. Don't be discouraged. Please know that life will improve.

Best of luck to you,


  • kojong, 2011-02-22 21:22:12

    Dear Frank, life is not easy for some gays, however with patience and hard work, you will get what you want in life. I promise you, you will be a happy person and a wonderful man. I am a 38 y.old man and gay. My life was not easy, but I ended up realizing most of my childhood dreams and more. If you dream hard and work hard as well, you will be amazed how far you can go. Good luck, never give up and cheers!

Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook