When Your Child Is Coming Out:
• Remain calm and focused on what he/she reveals.
• Give a hug and say “I love you.”
• Tell your child how proud you are that she divulged such an important facet of herself.
• You might ask how long he has known and why he feels he is gay, bi, trans.
After Coming Out:
• Find out whom you should tell, if at all. You need permission. It’s your child’s story.
• Check in with your child periodically to make sure all is well at school. Is there evidence of bullying/cyberbullying: avoidance of school, physical fights?
• If your child appears to be depressed (more than just teenage moodiness), you might consider a LGBT-friendly therapist. You can find one at Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (http://www.aglp.org)
• Have you discussed safe sex with your LGBT child? Is he comfortable telling his physician that he’s gay? Can the doctor refer him to a STD-testing center of administer STD tests in his office?
How to Save FACE After Bad Reaction To Coming Out
• Apologize and you might say “you know you really took me by surprise. I need time to digest the news.”
• Whatever you do, don’t kick your child out of the house. Nearly 40% of homeless teens on the street have been kicked out of their house for being LGBT. It’s very difficult to get back in your “good graces” after expulsion from their home.
You can find more helpful hints from straight parents, LGBT adults, as well as a psychiatrist in When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need to Know (June, 2016, Sterling: ISBN: 978-1-4549-1936-0).
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.