Already Out

"Ten years ago, coming out was an adult process. Now it's an adolescent process."

That's a quote from Jim Anderson, a former spokesman for Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) in New York Magazine, about six years ago.

And the trend continues.

There are hundreds of area teenagers who are openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. They are coming out at 12, 13, 14 years of age. Many adult gays and lesbians will tell you they knew their sexual identity at that age, but they didn't tell anyone until they reached their twenties (or beyond.)

Part of the reason for that was the verbal and physical torture they might endure in the halls of their high schools. Or on the streets of their hometown. Or in church on Sunday morning. Or even within their own houses.

So what's different now?

Dalton, Anna, and Melissa will help answer that question in a special edition of Need to Know: Already Out. They are three Monroe County teens who are out, and willing to candidly share their lives with you. Their families, mentors, friends, and others help tell their stories as well.

Need to Know: Already Out will be broadcast on Friday, May 16 at 9 p.m. and again on Sunday, May 18 at 12:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV, Channel 21, Cable 11.