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Parents of Gay Children: How to Support Your Children and Their Gender Identity

 

More often than not, parents of gay children are confused about how to show support and acceptance in the household. "What exactly should I do to show them my support?" is the most common question when tacking LGBT issues among parents. If you find yourself in the same shoes, keep in mind that by asking such question, you are already starting to show that you care.

Realize Nothing Has Change


Whether your gay child came out to you or if you accidentally found out about it, your child needs you just like any other kid needs her parents to support her with school, sports or a career. Many gay children are afraid to come out to their parents due to fear of rejection. You have to remember that nothing has really changed if your child decides to be gay. Keep doing the things you used to do together and make sure to maintain the usual family bonding activities.

Show Interest


Show interest in your child's sexual orientation. If you're not comfortable yet to ask questions about her gender identity, start asking the usual questions about how things are going at school, at work or with friends. There have been recent studies that correlate parent interest to a child's risky behavioral pattern. The more you show interest in your child's activities, hobbies and pursuits, the less likelihood of your child engaging in risky behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse.

Some gay children do not want to talk about it at first. Give them enough time and be prepared for times when they won't say a word at all. If you sense that there's something wrong but you find it difficult to start up the conversation, just let them know that you are always available if they want somebody to talk to.

Show Acceptance


The most common fear of gay children is rejection with the family, school, among their peers and the society in general. They wonder if they can still build their own family, have children themselves or even get married. Some are afraid that their religious community won't accept them for what they are. As a parent, it is one of your main responsibilities to show them that they are accepted and loved no matter what the outside world thinks of them.

Avoid Negativity


Avoid lecturing your child and telling her what she's supposed to do. Do not focus on telling her that she's wrong and you are right. Dwell on her strengths and emphasize to her that mistakes are acceptable.

Seek Support Groups


If you think you need the help of support groups in dealing with your child's gender identity issues, look for one nearest your locality. Almost all of the major cities and towns in the country have their own LGBT support groups. You can check for support groups yourself at first and if you feel comfortable with the people behind it, ask your child if she's willing to join the group herself. There are support groups that help parents of gay children, too.

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