The connection between lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth and/or transgender or intersex (LGBTQ) young people and pregnancy prevention may seem distant to some people. In our experience, these young people are an afterthought when it comes to sex education and reproductive health care. However, they are still at risk for getting pregnant or causing a pregnancy. Furthermore, they, too, need the knowledge, skills, and guidance it takes to become a sexually healthy adult.
Here are a few of the reasons we provide information and resources on LGBTQ young people:
- Professionals who work with adolescents have asked for support. We provide development opportunities so they can be prepared to do their jobs well and feel comfortable. Professionals who teach sex education, provide medical care, or run youth development programs are often confronted with the needs of LGBTQ young people or with questions about LGBTQ people. These professionals must be prepared to create a safe learning environment and convey medically accurate information. In addition, they may also be serving young people who are LGBTQ and need additional understanding or support.
- Being romantically and sexually attracted to both genders (bisexual), the same gender (homosexual), or another gender (heterosexual) are all natural in the range of human sexual experience. In addition, evidence shows young people participate in both same-sex and opposite-sex sexual activities regardless of their sexual orientation. They need information to be safe, healthy, and responsible.
- Young people who currently identify as LGBTQ or may be LGBTQ later in life are still at risk for getting pregnant or causing a pregnancy. Risk behaviors, including sexual activity, can be a coping mechanism for dealing with issues such as identity, bullying, or depression. In addition, young people identified by others as LGBTQ may feel pressured to prove otherwise by demonstrating an ability or desire to participate in opposite-sex sexual activity.