What To Do When Your Child Comes Out To You As LGBT?

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How can you be supportive of your LGBT son or daughter?

Whether your child has come out to you, or if you found out unintentionally that your son or daughter is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, your child needs you now. Every child’s worst fear is that by coming out their parents will reject them. No matter what your beliefs, fears or prejudices, you need to let your child know that you love him/her.

Your child is the same person he/she was before coming out of the closet. Remember, someone’s sexual orientation is just one part of who they are. Your child who loved pro wrestling and The Beatles is still the same kid you’ve loved since birth. Nothing about him/her has changed. You just have more knowledge about his/her life. Take this opportunity to connect as you did before you knew he/she was gay. Was there a meal you liked to cook together, a favorite TV show you watched? Make sure you continue to do the things you did as a family.

Show an Interest in Your Gay Child’s life.

Talk to your son or daughter. If you feel comfortable asking questions about his/her sexual orientation, do so. But you don’t need to focus on sexual orientation. Talk to him/her about school, work, other activities and interests. Studies show that children whose parents take an interest in their lives are less likely to engage in risky behavior.

What You May Be Going Through…

You may blame yourself for your child’s homosexuality. Don’t. It’s not your fault. Most scientists and psychologists agree, people are born LGBT. It is not something that you could have influenced.
You may feel depressed and isolated, like you have no one you can talk to. Find yourself a supportive counsellor if you need it.

Things will be different now than perhaps you hoped for you child. Most parents believe their children will grow up to be heterosexual, get married and have children. Letting go of that dream for your child can be hard. Remember though, that was YOUR dream. Your child may still choose to spend their life with one partner and have children. Even though your child did not choose to be gay, they may make some life choices you do not agree with. Although this may be hard for you, remember, it’s their life and they have the right to live it as their own.

What Your Gay Child is Going Through…

When people come out, they often question their place in society. They wonder how they will fit in with the family. Will they still have a family? Get married, have children? How will their church or faith community accept them? Will their friends accept or reject them?

You have a choice. You can help your child feel accepted and loved, or you can add to their feelings of isolation. Make sure your child knows they still have a place in the family, no matter what the outside world tells them.

You can help your child connect with a supportive community. Many cities have support groups for gay and lesbian youth. First check the group out. Offer to drive your child to a meeting.There are many support groups on facebook and elsewhere on the internet that you can join and contact parents in your area. WHOF is just one of them.

Support your child if someone makes a disparaging remark against gays. If she is a victim of harassment or homophobia, stand by his/her side.

Who Can I Tell?

Who to come out to is ultimately your child’s choice. Who you tell can have a consequence on his/her life. On the other hand, you might need to talk to someone and don’t want to keep such important information to yourself. It’s important that you be able to get the support that you need. Check in with your son or daughter before you tell anyone about their sexual orientation. Let her know you need to be able to talk to people to get support for yourself. REMEMBER you can always talk to support groups online, many anonymously.

If Your Religion Says Homosexuality is a Sin?

Some religions call homosexuality a sin. Others are more open and accepting of gays and lesbians. The debate is still out on this topic and probably will be for a long time. If your child was raised in the same religion as you he/she is probably having lots of conflicting feelings. Take a look at the work of some Biblical scholars who have a different interpretation of the Bible.

Thanks for reading, we hope it was helpful. Please show your support by commenting your thoughts, advice or suggestions below. Cheers! xx – TJ

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6 Comments

  1. I hope by the time my kids start realizing that part of their journey in life that they won’t feel it’s something so potentially frightful that it requires official “Coming Out” procedures.
    I hope they can tell me with confidence, “Mom, I’m in love!” all the while knowing that fact alone will be something to make my heart rejoice for them.
    I hope that I will raise them to respect themselves enough that they’re able to love someone deserving of their precious hearts, who will treat them with respect and treasure them with all of the tenderness -and yes, passion!- as a lover ought to. And that they can return that gift in kind to this individual whoever they may be.♥

  2. This is an important issue and I wish someone had covered this for parents in an education type setting. There are places for young people to get help in disclosing and dealing with their sexuality but nothing for parents. Regardless as to how things “should” be this topic is often confronting for parents and in particular men raised in “macho” house holds and societies. Fortunately, things are slowly changing but it was still something I had never expected to hear from one of my own partly because I just treated everyone as a person and not a gay/lesbian / straight/ Indian/Aboriginal/American etc etc…just as a person. We need to get more literature out there in places like schools/hospitals /doctors waiting rooms etc where people may just pick up a pamphlet and have a quick read. This is not the total answer but it would be a start.

  3. I sometimes ponder this coming out thing. A lot of fuss is made over something that seems like a natural exception. If im straight and don’t have to declare my sexual orientation I really don’t see why any other human being has too. And this isn’t an opinion more just something I’ve thought about in case anyone takes offence because id imagine you’d have to be pretty brave to lay it all out and hope people aren’t going to reject you.

  4. My kids whether they are tall, short, bald or head full of hair loving men, women both or neither, they will always be my babies i got that kinda love that would stick through stuff that no other possibly could and I would love to say that I dont have specific dreams for their future I let them tell me what they hope to be and listen and hope to see it come into existence, I would stand by my child against anyone and everyone whether or not I agree with their choices because thats why i’m their mother, to have their back when no one else will.

  5. my family was amazing when I came out at 15. my mom had concerns…but mostly for my safety and happiness. they have stayed supportive throughout all these years and were present when my wife and I had our commitment celebration 6 months ago. i wish every child could have the experience I had. EVERY child needs love and devotion and support…no matter who they are.

  6. I did what any parent should do I embraced it fully and love my Son on less then I did before he told me. My Son was 14 when he “came out” he is openly Gay and on a loving relationship with a very wonderful young man. MY Son is now 20 and I love him, admire him, and respect him more than ever for the man that he has been evolving into. My Son is simply, My Life! ♥

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