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What to Do When Your Child Comes Out


Get Involved
If your gay teen wants you to get involved, join him or her at a PRIDE march.
If your gay teen wants you to get involved, join him or her at a PRIDE march.
Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images

Every child is different. Gay or straight, a teen might want to deal with his or her obstacles privately, or with the help of a select few, or with the whole world as a stage.

No matter what, you will be standing beside your gay teen figuratively; whether or not you're standing beside him or her literally depends entirely on your child.

If your gay teen wants you to get involved in his or her struggle (not just your own), there are a number of ways you can share in it. Join your child at a PRIDE rally, or suggest taking part in a joint parent/child support group, or offer to help him or her set up a LGBT alliance at school. You can also write letters to senators, speak with school officials or contact city council members in support of safety and equality programs supporting LGBT teens in school and beyond.

The one area where you don't need permission to get involved is in the case you legitimately fear for your child's safety. If you believe your gay teen is facing a physical threat or is experiencing symptoms of severe depression, it's time to intervene.

Which brings us to the most important part you'll play in your child's coming-out: being the kind of parent you've always wanted to be …


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