Clinical Psychology Review, Volume 17, 1997,
Social stigmatization hinders the ability of gay adolescents to achieve the tasks of adolescence. Because their sexual identity is denigrated by society, these youth have difficulty forming a positive identity and establishing healthy peer and intimate relationships. Family relations are often painful, and gay adolescents are susceptible to loneliness, isolation, depression, and suicide. Validation of these adolescents' affectional and erotic feelings helps to normalize their adolescence, as does providing' them with a peer group of other gay youth.