From a NYT magazine article on gay teens:
“When I first realized I was gay,” Austin interjected, “I just assumed I would hide it and be miserable for the rest of my life. But then I said, O.K., wait, I don’t want to hide this and be miserable my whole life.’ ”
I asked him how old he was when he made that decision.
“Eleven,” he said.
Later in the article, the author listens to a gay 14-year-old argue with his mother about whether to "let his latest crush spend time in his room" alone:
As I listened to them bicker, I couldn’t help remembering what Ritch Savin-Williams, the professor of developmental psychology at Cornell, told me the first time we spoke: “This is the first generation of gay kids who have the great joy of being able to argue with their parents about dating, just like their straight peers do.”
Timothy Kincaid reflects:
I know that I knew that I was gay early on, before I knew that there was even a word for it. But like many guys my generation, I didn’t come out until my 20’s. I can’t imagine how different life would be had I let the world know I was gay at age 13.
For me, the main impact of marriage equality - or even the idea that you could have a happy, normal life as a gay person - is on the next generation. They will be the first gay people to grow up in human history with the self-confidence and self-worth of many straights. I am convinced - because I am a conservative - that this will generate a big positive shift in the culture and life of gay people. It will end enormous pain, great suffering, and all the pathologies that accompany such oppression and exclusion.
And this is a good thing for everyone.