Being gay doesn't have to mean a life sentence of unhappiness.
Grim statistics have previously linked sexual orientations other than heterosexuality with mental health problems and a higher suicide risk.
However, a new study by the Australian National University has found that it's not a person's sexual orientation which creates problems, but rather society's intolerance to it.
The study, which followed about 5000 adults over eight years, found those who grew up in a loving family with a positive school life had no more chance of developing problems than heterosexuals.
Instead, childhood sexual trauma, risky health behaviours, smoking, a lack of positive support and negative social interactions pose more of a risk to people's mental health.
Samuel Leighton Dore's mother is a sexuality counsellor, and he describes his father as a "sensitive new-age man".
"My home life could not have been more ideal," he said. "I come from a very happy, strong, supportive family unit."
However, the 25-year-old from Newtown, who edits gay and lesbian website SameSame.com.au, said he was forced to seek psychological help after being "badly" bullied at school because of his feminine traits and long hair.
"It's only when [your sexuality] is thrown into doubt by the assistance of other people who start to question it that you do," he said.
"If I wasn't told I was supposed to like girls, I wouldn't question my liking of boys."
Mr Dore has since struggled with low self-esteem and trusting people as an adult because of the abuse.
The study's lead researcher, Dr Richard Burns, backed up Mr Dore's experience, saying gay people were more likely to experience mental health risk factors than heterosexual people.
"Initially, we found there was a long-term risk for depression and anxiety among individuals with a bisexual orientation, and there was long-term risk for anxiety among homosexual individuals," he said.
"But when we adjusted for these other mental-health risk factors, we found no major risk associated with sexual orientation itself."
The findings come as Australia's Parliament wrestles with whether same-sex marriage should be legalised.
"We concluded that all things being equal that there is no particular mental health risk for people with a homosexual or bisexual orientation," Dr Burns said.
Mr Dore said if there was no stigma associated with being gay, people wouldn't experience the problems he had.
"There isn't anything depressing about being gay – it's kind of great."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.