It's not easy growing up gay in America, despite the nation's increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage and other issues of gay equality.
Gay and lesbian teenagers across the United States are less likely to be happy, more likely to report harassment and more inclined to experiment with drugs and alcohol than the nation's straight teens, according to a new nationwide survey of more than 10,000 gay and lesbian young people.
The study paints an often stark picture of the challenges of growing up gay in this country, even as same-sex marriage gains support among many Americans and other legal and cultural barriers to gay equality begin to fall.
The survey showed, for example, that half of all gay and lesbian teens reported being verbally harassed or called names at school, compared with a quarter of non-LGBT kids. About twice as many gay and lesbian respondents as straight teens also said they had been shoved, kicked or otherwise assaulted at their schools, with 17% of LGBT teens and 10% of straight youths reporting such assaults.
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