Being in a relationship buffers lesbian and gay youth against effects of bullying and victimization, and they show lower levels of psychological distress. Prior research has not found a protective effect like this for support from parents and friends.
In my Opinion or summary from the article as link given below, There is probably an effect of social recognition leading to a feeling of normalization in the individual, but normalization will crucially be achieved by mutual understanding and reflection on the context within the relationship.
It’s likely that while a parent (presumably heterosexual in identification) may be supporting and approve of a child’s sexuality, they likely don’t have a good understanding of the context, and hence can’t really provide any support or reflection about the nature of the identity. About the actual conceptual issues that cause the individual such distress and turmoil.
A lot of important mental conflicts need to be addressed when talking about homosexuality, and notably gender dysphoria. Internal conflicts that are potentially triggered and at the very least fuelled by bullying and etc. Phenomena that conflict with some of society’s pragmatic, yet silly social notions; like normalcy (passive stigma). This can lead to a significant amount of internal resistance, conflict, rejection, denial, loathing and hence anxiety, depression, etc.
In a relationship with another individual that is understanding of all said nuances, internal mechanisms, distortions and woes from personal experience; an environment where such things can be shared and reflected upon deeply is created. The individual also comes to understand that other, perfectly awesome human beings just like them experience the same issues and this normalises their psychological experience. It legitimises it and to a certain extent; their identity as well.
A parallel can be drawn to mental illnesses, which I have personal experience of, things like intimate and consistent group therapies and a relationship with competent clinicians was hugely helpful in my experience. People that you get to know intimately, whom understand all the aspects of your experience, who don’t just allow or “support” it, where you can receive specific reinforcement and reassurance of your issues resulting from genuine internal and social distortions. That other people are in the same boat as you and it’s absolutely a part of the “normal” human experience, of the variability of the human reality.
Moreover, It seems pretty obvious that the essential difference between parental support and peer support (a SO in a group of youths) is that the young person will soon be leaving the parental nest, and has a peer level support and recognition factor going with them, while as time goes on the parental support will get more remote, and also is of times ineffective when trying to intervene on the bullying in the moment scene like a social group peer could.
Also I can see a heterosexual relationship being able to buffer the general distress caused by bullying but since homosexual teens can be specifically bullied over their sexuality I think we might have to differentiate a bit.
They are more likely to physically abused in a way that qualifies as sexual abuse and they are more likely to recieve sexually demeaning insults. A romantic partner is of specific help here and couldn’t be directly replaced by non-romantic close relationship. Whereas teens bullied over money or intelligence should benefit roughly as much from a romantic partners emotional support as they would from a close relative (not counting the stress relief from sex).
One directly poses as a positive counter to a negative experience of the same “topic”. The other is just plain regular emotional support.
Link to Article for futher study –