In my blog on 7/28/13, I suggested “10 Things Your Gay Child Does Not Want To Hear From You.” http://www.straightparentgaykid.blogspot.com. Now, I suggest what you may want to tell him/her, based on research, to encourage discussion and an ongoing dialogue.
Ten Points to Cover:
1. Thank you for sharing your story with me. It must have been hard for you to tell me (shows pride and encourages further dialogue).
2. I’m proud that have the presence at your age to come out. It shows confidence, honesty, and self-awareness.
3. I love you and always will. ( all kids, not just LGBT ones, who feel vulnerable, want unconditional love and acceptance). So often, LGBT kids are told that it’s not o.k.to be “different.”
4. How long have your known? (shows interest in their journey to gayness).
5. Would you like me to discuss your orientation with other family members? If so, whom? It’s your call. Have you told your sister? Brothers? Extended family? (shows respect for privacy – it’s his or her story).
6. Who at school knows? Friends? Teacher? Guidance counselor?
7. Do you have support groups for your orientation? Gay-Straight Alliance, chat rooms on-line, etc. (Besides your support, your child will obtain further help from LGBT community, particularly from own age group).
8. How do you feel about being gay? Are you accepted at school? (opens up conversation about possible self-hatred or harassment from others and possible need for therapy, especially if depression exhibited).
9. Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Are they out? I’d like to meet them (shows interest in whom is important in their life and acceptance of their sexual orientation).
10. Now, that I know you’re gay, I intend to find out more about gay issues. I hope you will educate me as well (shows open mind and ability to have your child take the lead – this is one area where they will most likely know more than you!).
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.