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How Can I Support My Gay Child?


How Can I Support My Gay Child?

Proud Mom at Gay Pride

Photo (c) Justin Sullivan
Question: How Can I Support My Gay Child?
Having a child come out as gay can elicit a range of emotions from parents. It is normal to feel shocked, worried, upset, embarrassed and uncomfortable. It is also common to feel relieved, pleased, ambivalent or confused about what it means to parents a gay child. Ultimately, however, most parents want to help and support their children. Here are some ways to do so, whatever your initial reaction.

Parents of GLBT children often ask, "How can I support my gay child?" Asking that question is the first step to being supportive.

Here are a number of other ways:

  • Understand that you you cannot change who your child is. There is no way to make him or her straight.
  • Educate yourself on what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
  • Join a support group like Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
  • Offer your child unconditional love
  • Remember your child is still the same multi-dimensional person he or she was before coming out
  • Understand that this isn't about "sex." A lot of people confuse sexual orientation with a child being sexually active. Being GLBT is about much more than sexual behavior.

A lot of parents are shocked, scared or confused when a child comes out. It's okay to tell your child that you don't have all the answers. However, it is also important to remind your child that you are willing to learn and that his or her news, does not change the fact tht you love and support him or her.

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