So your child has just come out. Maybe this caught you by surprise as things do not seem as clear cut as what you raised your child to believe. But the world has changed to become a much more diverse and accepting place.
Although, nowadays people are much more open about how they identify, there is still stigma attached to being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Many young people now turn to the online community for support which is a good thing as there are so many great support networks and role models out there.
But wouldn’t life be so much easier for you and your child if you were able to talk to them and understand how they feel? If you are a parent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, here are the steps you can take to support them emotionally and practically;
Take A Deep Breath
Breathe, pause and don’t do anything rash. When you’re in a crisis mode, that’s the worse time to talk to them and make a decision. Work through your emotions but don’t make your child pay for them. They didn’t choose this, they discovered it.
Listen And Understand
Do not force your child to talk about how they feel, they may still be trying to figure out how they identify and this may add even more pressure on them. Listen to them and be open minded. After all, isn’t their happiness the most important thing?
Sometimes, it may be difficult for your child to explain how they identify. There are plenty of resources online. Do your homework, read books, join forums and consult a therapy to support your child better.
Engage With Your Child
Why let them seek comfort in people they don’t know when you’ve known them their whole life? This is a fragile time for them. They are not defined by their sexuality any more than you are. Your response is critically important. Seek them out and let them know that you’re for them.
With all the cruelty going on in the world, coming out is usually someone’s way of asking for your acceptance.