Briefly describe how your child first came out to you and your initial reactions.
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.
What concerns did you experience over the first weeks or months? How did you deal with them?
Nothing really changed except for getting use to saying him/he instead or her/she and using his new name from the one given at birth. How I dealt with it was by asking question and allowing him to speak about his fears and how I could help.
Has your child come out to other family members over time?
If yes, who, when, and what was their reaction?
He wrote a letter to all loved ones telling them he is the same person just with a name change and the importance of the pronoun he/him is to him and that if he corrects them when they use the wrong pronoun not to get angry but hopefully learn. The most impactful thing I learned about his reveal is that what one sees or perceives about an individual doesn’t matter… it’s about how the person feels inside about themselves.
What is the hardest thing about knowing their LGBTQ identity?
The emotional toll on my child when other people are being ignorant to the situation and selfish about their beliefs.
What are some challenges have you faced concerning your LGBTQ child? How did you deal with these?
Bullying at school…we involved the principal and teachers. The school reacts quickly and has no tolerance for that behavior, it’s done a fairly good job with inclusion and acceptance.
Helping people understand.
The mental health issues: depression, hormone blockers, how to start with transitioning or information about it.
Finding mentors for my child — I just keep looking!
What is the best thing about knowing your child's LGBTQ identity?
That he is happy! He knows I LOVE him for being him!
Knowing what you know today, would you want your child to “stay in the closet”? Why?
No….coming out allowed us to find out more about LGBTQ communities and mental health issues together. Have gone with him to Pride Parade twice now since coming out and enjoyed the time together. It helped us get closer.
What would you say to other parents learning the LGBTQ identity of their child?
It’s not easy, there are many challenges. It takes a very strong person to reveal such a private thing, your child is very extremely vulnerable at this point and worries more about disappointing you and being rejected by you! Take the time to listen and learn and grow together. It’s a journey I’m glad I started and still enjoying!
What would you say to youth coming out to their families?
Allow your LOVED ones to have the time to research and ask questions, there will be many. Help educate them and allow them to be with you on your journey. You’re their child, they do LOVE you no matter what. Some may just show it in different ways, we are all just human!
100K-500K, 20-29, 20-29, 20s - 30s, 30-39, 40-49, 500K-1 million, Arkansas, Bi-sexual, Canada, Father, Featured, Florida, Gay, Illinois, Lesbian, Mother, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Older Teen (16-19), Older Teen (16-19), Oregon, Over 1 million, Pennsylvania, Pre-Teen (12 & under), Pre-teen (12 & under), Rural, Texas, Transgender, Under 100K, United States of America, Written, Young Teen (12-15), Young Teen (12-150