Learning That Your Child is Gay

Parenting and raising sexually healthy children is challenging at the best of times. Most websites or books you’ve turned to for advice were written under the assumption that all children are heterosexual. What do you do when you find out your child is gay?

When Your Child “Comes Out”

Even if you've suspected your child might be homosexual, knowing for sure can be a shock. Your feelings will likely be intense and confusing.  You might not be able to speak to or about your child without feeling sad or angry for quite sometime.

Every family is different and every parent-child relationship is unique. After the initial shock you might be ready to listen, or you may react by withdrawing from your child. Like many parents of gay children, you might deny his or her homosexuality at first, and then try to fix it. You might mourn the end of your hopes and dreams of an "ordinary" happiness for your child. And finally, you may accept or even celebrate it, depending on your beliefs about homosexuality.

Accepting Your Child’s Orientation

As a parent of a gay child you'll be faced with new challenges. You might fear that your child will be a victim of discrimination, or worse, gay-bashing . You might worry that he or she will be ostracized by close friends or relatives. You might be afraid that your child won't ever be well-adjusted, happy or emotionally fulfilled.

Because your child isn't heterosexual doesn't mean he or she won't find a lifelong partner and you won't have grandchildren. There are many homosexual couples in committed relationships that are raising children.

While your son or daughter might want you to understand immediately, take your time. In the meantime, create a home that's loving and accepting of your child and his or her sexual orientation. Don't be impatient with your feelings and concerns. You'll learn and understand in your own time.

Need Advice?

As a parent of a gay, lesbian, or bisexual child, you'll need resources and support to help you understand your child's sexual identity. And there's no substitute for talking things over with a parent who's been there.

PFLAG - Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - was established by parents of homosexual children. View the list of Southern Ontario Chapters or consider joining PFLAG's virtual chapter.

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