What to Do When Your Child Comes Out


The thought of coming out can be so daunting that many gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender young people avoid it.
The thought of coming out can be so daunting that many gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender young people avoid it.
©iStockphoto.com/CREATISTA

In the minds of some teens (and some adults), the words "Mom, Dad, I'm gay" can sound a lot like "Mom, Dad, I'm a mass murderer." The thought of coming out can be so daunting that many lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) young people simply avoid it. That can result in poor school performance, isolation, anxiety, depression, drug use and other self-destructive behavior.

In short, "staying in" is often detrimental to a child's physical and mental health.

As a parent, you want to establish a safe space for your child to reveal his or her sexual orientation. As a parent, you want to react in exactly the right way.

As a parent, that can be an extremely difficult thing to do.

Some do it right from the start; others need to find their way through mixed feelings to make it to the acceptance and support that any child needs to thrive.

Here, some suggestions that can help you navigate the journey. Your first step when your child comes out to you is perhaps the most important one: Listen to what that child is saying.

 

 

 

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