Briefly describe how your child first came out to you and your initial reactions.
My son told me just 2 weeks ago that he thought he was gay. He asked me to give him a lift to the train station and told me in the car. I told him that I loved him and it would never effect that. I told him that both me and his Dad would support him fully in everything he did and that I was very proud of him.
What concerns did you experience over the first weeks or months? How did you deal with them?
Our biggest concern was about him telling others and we found out he had told two friends very quickly after telling us. Our concern was that he might be bullied or experience some form of backlash from others at his school, we wanted to protect him from any prejudice. We told him these concerns but I have since apologized and said that it is his choice who he tells and when he tells them and re-assured him that he has our total support at all times.
Has your child come out to other family members over time?
What is the hardest thing about knowing their LGBTQ identity?
Trying to understand his feelings and worrying over prejudice
What are some challenges have you faced concerning your LGBTQ child? How did you deal with these?
Nothing so far, it is all still very new, just worry!
What is the best thing about knowing your child's LGBTQ identity?
That he felt he could tell us and that we are in this together
Knowing what you know today, would you want your child to “stay in the closet”? Why?
No, there is nothing to be ashamed of and it is better to face it head on. If there are people that will not accept it then they are not our friends.
What would you say to other parents learning the LGBTQ identity of their child?
Your child’s sexual orientation does not change the person you have always loved. It does not define them they are exactly the same “child” you have loved since birth. Sadly society still has prejudices and you need to be there for them more than ever.
What would you say to youth coming out to their families?
Be strong, be safe, you are truly amazing
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