Reply To: I think my young son may be gay. What should I do?

Support for parents of LGBTQ Forums Discussion Forum I think my young son may be gay. What should I do? Reply To: I think my young son may be gay. What should I do?

Janet Duke

It’s of first importance to educate yourself and learn all you can. A good early read is “Free Your Mind” on our Resources page, for essential basic background. There are numerous other books there as well as two excellent documentaries on our video page. Building understanding is key to helping your son over time.

It’s important even early on to demonstrate that you are an ally of LGBTQ, love him no matter what, and are comfortable talking with him about anything. He’s a long way from puberty, but most LGBTQ youth say they knew in early childhood they were LGBTQ. The exact style might emerge over time but their early sense was correct.

I would really encourage you to look at our pages about National Parents Coming Out Day that talk about ways to support your child. It begins with dozens of suggestions on how to be an ally even when your child is closeted — or in this case so young you are unsure. There are so many ideas I can’t restate them here, but they are all focused on opening the topic so you child can talk openly.

One of the most important things is to avoid silence about LGBTQ people, topics, or ideas. Silence always creates a sense of secrecy and can make topics seem taboo. The more you refer to LGBTQ events, people you know, someone you admire in the public eye, or see in movies, the easier it is for your son to talk openly with you.

We also have some excellent books on our Resources page. I highly recommend “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk”. This is a general parenting book and not specific to LGBTQ but it’s insights are invaluable.

Finally, while you may be able to support your son with encouragement and understanding, this is his journey. He will have to identify himself and counseling may help in the future. However, his bedrock will always be the love and acceptance of his family and that you can provide.

Thank you for reaching out to us.

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