Coming Out Stories Through a Parent’s Eyes

04.25.2024

On our website is a treasure trove of personal testimonies from parents of LGBTQ+ youth who are doing their best to navigate new territory. We come back to these stories again and again because they are inspiring and help other parents feel less alone. Today, we’ve compiled these first-hand accounts of children coming out to their parents.

Briefly describe how your child first came out to you and your first reactions.

“His Dad and I had just picked him up at the airport, he was in the back seat and simply said he had something to tell us. It made it easier to not look at each other as he talked. It was painfully hard for all of us, he never wants to disappoint us and we never want him to be hurt. Even though I intuitively knew it, by him confirming it, it became very real & scary.

I was upset, sad… of course I cried, probably asked him if he was sure he was gay and also if he would try harder to be straight. Ridiculous, only a mom would ask such a thing. Thankfully, we had a good strong foundation of love to hold on to and support us.”

– Mother of a gay son

“My 20-year-old daughter told me via text that she has been wanting to tell me for a while. She is attracted to girls and boys. She says she’s felt this way for over a year now. I was shocked to say the least. I told her I loved her and nothing would ever change that. But inside I was a wreck. I immediately had a panic attack and couldn’t sleep all night. It’s been about 4 days since I found out. I’m still struggling”

– Mother of a bisexual daughter

“My child came out to his aunt and uncle one weekend while at the cottage… my child was so fearful I would not LOVE him anymore. My first words were “nothing could ever stop me from LOVING you!” Then I gave him a big hug and we cried together.”

– Father of a trans son

“We were driving Nathan to his first year in college. About two hours from home he announced to his father and me that he was gay. I said, “I love you. Please just don’t let anyone tell you if you just loved Jesus more, it would go away!” I just wanted him to know I loved him… just the way he is!”

– Mother of a gay son

“My child (born female) was a gifted soprano opera singer, a successful bio-researcher with her doctorate degree, and had married into a good family. Four years after she settled down, she left the marriage, stopped singing, changed her religion, changed her career and began slowly to introduce the idea to me that she had never been an authentic woman. She believed the only way she could truly be herself was to transition.

It has been several years now. He has had top surgery, has changed his driver’s license, passport, is in a new relationship in a different country and is taking testosterone. I pray he will be able to successfully transition without any medical problems, as he has a serious lactose intolerance that has put him in the hospital twice and necessitates always carrying an EpiPen.

I pray a lot for him every day. I want him to be all he is capable of being, and he is successful in his new career and has found a community of friends. All of this is great. I love my child so much, and it leaves me feeling like I have failed as a mother.”

– Mother of a trans son

“Shortly after my son’s 14th birthday, he came out to my wife and son while I was away on business. When I returned, my wife asked me to go put him to bed, which was already an “odd” circumstance because that was usually their time to be together. I went into his room and within minutes he just boldly and plainly said “Dad, I just wanted you to know I’m gay.”

He didn’t say “might be” – it was with such authority that only months later did I come to understand how much pride I should have in him knowing WHO he was. Initially, I made it about me – thoughts of things I would “lose” – or thoughts of things I thought HE would lose. And again, it wouldn’t be for months that I would come to realize these were never things I should have mapped out for him – it was his life to live, but somehow, at that moment, he wasn’t living the life I had imagined.

I made sure he knew I loved him and that this wouldn’t change that one bit. But deep down inside, I struggled with “how” to be a good parent with this information. And yes, it took awhile.”

– Father of a gay son

“Our daughter came out to my wife and me as she was finishing her college years. I was surprised only because it had not occurred to me that she might be lesbian. By the time that she came out to us, I had already come to a place in my own life journey that I was accepting of LGBTQ+ persons.

As a Christian and as a United Methodist pastor, I was supportive of the full inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in the church and in society. Even more so, I was ready to accept my daughter when she came out. She has said that she waited to tell us until she was ready to be on her own in case we did not accept her.

So she was fearful of our reaction even though I don’t think we had ever given her any reason to think that we did not love her. We did reassure her that we do love her and that we accept her and love her unconditionally as our daughter and as a child of God.”

– Father of a lesbian daughter

If these emotional, authentic parent stories have helped you in any way on your journey, please consider sharing your story on our website. The stories are anonymous and you can write as much or as little as you’d like. Help us help more parents like you.

 

Sources

Photo courtesy of Mike Scheid on Unsplash