Advice Applies for Other 364 Days A Year
Last week, I wrote about the meaning of National Coming Out Day, October 11th and gave tips on what parents should say if their child does come out.
Today, I’ll suggest tactics that show you care as your child’s greatest supporter.
Ways to Be A Straight Ally
- · You can participate in a local event. Perhaps your child’s school is having a Gay-Straight Alliance event.
- · Post a Facebook status. Include the Human Rights Campaign logo.
- · Wear a classic gay pride symbol. A lapel pin with a rainbow flag or a peace pin in rainbow colors are appropriate.
- · Volunteer at a LGBT organization such as PFLAG (Parents for Lesbians and Gays) or The Trevor Project, a Suicide Prevention Hotline.
- · Human Rights Campaign’s National Coming Out Project (NCOP) provides a free National Coming Out Day Kit which includes information, resources, and ideas. See http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/national-coming-out-day.
- · HRC also has a downloadable guide on its site “Coming Out as a Straight Supporter.”
- · Above all, be a good listener and show your love.
Don Don’t You & Your Child Feel Pressured To Come Out ‘Though
Just because it’s National Coming Out Day doesn’t mean that your child should feel as if he/she should come out to the world. Your child may be comfortable telling only you; he may feel scared of harassment at school, fear rejection of friends. This may not be the right time for him to divulge his orientation.
While some LGBT persons may feel relieved, unburdened and want to tell everyone, your child will most likely choose to share with different people at different times in his life. Do not try to rush his maturity.
Take Your Lead From Him/Her. You may be dying to tell your best friend. If he/she doesn’t want you to tell Grandma, Aunt Sarah, then don’t. It’s your child’story and life, every day of the year.
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.