An 18 word tweet about growing up gay has gone viral after its message resonated with thousands of members of the LGBTQ community.
"Gay culture is being a teenager when you're 30 because your teenage years were not yours to live," Twitter user @introvertgay posted on September 1.
In addition to being liked and shared thousands of times, the tweet garnered a strong response.
Although the average age that people come out of the closet has dropped significantly in recent years, LGBTQ teens are often faced with cruelty and bullying from their peers. According to ScienceDaily.com, the average coming out age in 1991 was 25 and today it's 16.
But multiple surveys have shown that adults knew their sexual orientation by the time they were 9 or 10 years old, so LGBTQ people still spend a significant portion of their pre-teen and teen years concealing their sexual identities.
And although it's certainly encouraging that more LGBTQ teenagers feel comfortable enough to come out, they are more likely to be bullied than their heterosexual peers. According to a 2015 report from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34 percent of gay students are bullied on school property, 10 percent are threatened or injured with a weapon, 28 percent are bullied electronically, and 18 percent have already been raped at some point in their lives.