Imagine that you have gone to school with a boy ever since pre-K, but you have never really talked to him; you were in different social crowds. You know he is a nice boy, a part of the yearbook club, who never really got into trouble. What happens when you come into school one day during senior year and hear that he killed himself? When you return home from school your mom says he killed himself because he could not stand being in the closet any longer, hiding himself from his homophobic parents.

Situations like this are happening throughout America. Many teenagers do not realize that homosexuality not a choice, but part of a person's identity, the same way your eyes are green or your brother is tall, and homosexuals should not have to suffer discrimination because of it. There is a science behind sexuality the same way there is a science behind your hair color. Homosexuals are victims of stereotypes, cruel and often are forced to feel ashamed of themselves. Teenagers, especially, are the victims of the cruelness because other teenagers are ignorant about the issue and the harm teasing causes.

People say that homosexuals can change, but according to recent studies there is research regarding the brain, hormonal influences, and genetic studies. Many, if not all of them, conclude that there are genetic, brain structure, and hormonal differences between heterosexual and homosexual people.

Many gay students suffer from verbal abuse, negative classifications, and harsh stereotypes from their peers. Teenagers often say "that's so gay," meaning lame, uncool, wimpy, useless, etc., or they use it to describe an activity or action that is "so homo." They thoughtlessly use "gay" as an adjective, but do we ever use heterosexual or straight as an adjective? Many heterosexuals would find that offensive, but the question is, don't homosexuals find it offensive too?

Although there are some people that are purposefully mean, some are not doing it with intent, but trying to be "funny" or "cute." G.B.F, a gay best friend who is essentially the male version of a stereotypical best friend, is one of the largest stereotypes that gays are subjected too. Other popular stereotypes include believing that all homosexuals are atheist, male homosexuals have a high pitched voice, hate all sports, like pink, have personality traits of woman, and are often feminized or deal with "feminization," and that all homosexuals have lisps. All of these are offensive and rude. This issue is largest with teenagers because they do not always think before they speak or act. Elementary children do not even comprehend what is being said or done, they just imitate older siblings, parents or other influential adults in their lives. The result of these actions can lead to suicide, self-harm, depression, and anxiety. All of these can potentially ruin a teenager's future because the teenager loses self-esteem and their sense of acceptance. Gay is not an adjective or insult, but something people permanently are, and something you cannot change.

Sexual discrimination is a large issue in our society, especially among teenagers. Although homosexuality is a science, and not a choice, people still believe that homosexuals can change with religion and guidance, but could you, a heterosexual, become a homosexual with some guidance? We are constantly told to "Be yourself," but then you turn around and hear, "Homosexuals are going to hell." Don't those two statements contradict each other Teenagers around the U.S. are hiding their sexuality because of the bullying and exclusion that comes with being "out" and how their parents and society perceive homosexuals. Because of this, they are afraid to be who they are, which leads to loneliness, depression, and self-deprecation. We as a society need to step up for homosexuals. Stand up and speak up for what is right.