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Benoit-Denizet Lewis: Coming Out in Middle School


Writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis offers a fascinating look at the increasing number of young people who are coming out during middle school in a new article in The New York Times Magazine.

Denizet-Lewis, who is gay, interviews young people around the country whose decision to come out challenges not only their friends and families, but also gay people from older generations who may hold very different memories of their own coming-out experience.

"Though most adolescents who come out do so in high school, sex researchers and counselors say that middle-school students are increasingly coming out to friends or family or to an adult in school," writes Denizet-Lewis. "Just how they're faring in a world that wasn't expecting them -- and that isn't so sure a 12-year-old can know if he's gay -- is a complicated question that defies simple geographical explanations. Though gay kids in the South and in rural areas tend to have a harder time than those on the coasts, I met gay youth who were doing well in socially conservative areas like Tulsa and others in progressive cities who were afraid to come out."

The article, which appears in print on Sunday, is already available online.

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