In response to the spate of news reports about young LGBT people being bullied by their peers, leading some to suicide, and increased awareness of gay teens in general, The New York Times has launched an interactive feature, "Coming Out," for youths to share their life stories.
The feature is "an effort to better understand this generation's realities and expectations, and to give teenagers their own voice in the conversation," according to the Times.
The newspaper has interviewed nearly 100 youths, in various stages of coming out, from around the nation and is posting their stories on its website, with photos and audio. Those on the site so far include accounts from a Bronx teenager (pictured) who was bullied in his neighborhood and an ROTC cadet in Louisiana. Also, there is an online form for readers to submit their stories.
The Times reports that overall, "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths just want to be teenagers. While they envision a world where they can get married and have doors open to them, they do not want to be defined by their sexuality, regardless of how they are received by their community. It is just one part of their identity."
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