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June 1, 1977: the early years of gay youth. (From the Advocate Archives).

Today, support services for gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth exist in many communities, schools, and on the Internet. But in 1977, when then--Advocate reporter Randy Shilts wrote the magazine's first special report on young gay people, their options were limited at best. The story about young gay people, he wrote, was "also a story about violence, ostracism, alienation--and sometimes suicide. It's a story that needs to be told because increasing numbers of young gay people are coming to grips with their homosexuality at younger ages."

Teens interviewed included Sarah, 17, who at 15 was subjected to rumors that she'd tried to grope other girls. "I began hating [gays] before I even knew who they were," she said, adding that as she realized she was attracted to women, this translated into hating herself.

Tom Ammiano, who in 1977 chaired San Francisco's Gay Teachers' Caucus and now is president of that city's board of supervisors, told Shilts that many gay teachers feared they would jeopardize their careers if they helped gay students. But organizations like Boston's Project Lambda were beginning to recognize the need for gay youth services in a post--gay liberation world.
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Author:Romesburg, Don
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 25, 2002
Words:191
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