Definition: Telling friends, family, or anyone that your child identifies as LGBTQ. This is much more complex and must be based on your child’s decisions of who knows and when.

Why: This is a way to support your child, find support yourself, and become an advocate

Timing: Depends on your child’s comfort level. It may take years to become completely open or may never occur. You must keep pace with your child on who to tell and when.

  • It’s not your story to tell – you will not feel the scrutiny, your child will.
  • Keep pace with your child – their comfort level is most important
  • Get permission – ask if you can talk to a particular person (even your sibling or best friend).
  • Judge your audience – they may break confidence or gossip.
6 - Child Is Only Out To You
Essential: Do not ‘out’ your child
However emotional you are, respect your child’s privacy. Take time to find your balance and gather helpful information.
Be an ally
See the independent actions above and pursue all you can.
Educate yourself
This is essential and there are many Resources
Find a confidential & supportive space
Join a support group such as PFLAG,, or the many affirming faith based resources
Work with an affirming therapist
Talk with accepting clergy
Tell your story anonymously
Post your anonymous story on our website at Family Stories
7 - Child Told A Trusted Few
Keep pace.
Don’t ask you child to stretch and don’t hold them back
If asked, be willing to help tell others
Help your child tell someone else if your child wants your help. You may be part of the conversation or you may be sent as a messenger.
Ask permission if you want to tell someone
For someone your child knows well, such as a relative or close friend, it’s essential your child agrees. It’s their relationship too.
Ask how you can help
Sometimes they want help and other times not. It’s important to ask so they stay in control.
Keep the conversation flowing.
Ask normal questions about life, school, work, and friends. Don’t make everything about being LGBTQ.
Keep your worries to yourself.
Find a trusted resource to talk with but don’t lay your fears on your child.
8 - Child Is Out To Some Family Or Friends
Be a welcoming home
Invite their friends to your home. Make an effort to know ALL their friends, but particularly those close to your child.
Find your comfort zone.
Practice talking about this change until you have the words comfortably down.
Ask your child how to handle questions.
Find out how they answer and parallel them.
Be a buffer if needed.
Keep your balance if someone else such as a relative is emotional or critical. Don’t let them grill your child.
Discuss possible gossip.
Help your child be realistic that others may talk. That may be good or bad – take your cue from your child.
Get your statements and answers down pat
Find positive, affirming ways to answer if someone asks or implies something. You are an ally – act like it.
9 - Child Is Progressively Open
Grow with your child.
Be more open as your child is more open. Make it ordinary. Talk easily about this and many other topics around school, activities, sports, etc.
Be ready for dating and relationships.
Try to apply consistent guidelines about dating, especially if other children are in the home. Curfews, activities and boundaries can still be appropriate.
There may be open affection. Try to think “if they were a co-ed couple would this bother me?”
Make your home a destination.
Not only will you know your child’s friends, you can become a friend to others whose families may be rejecting.
10 - Both you and your child are out
Take a public stand
Join one of the many Support and Advocacy Groups
Actively advocate for LGBTQ rights. Be a public voice when possible.
Help other families and youth
Support or help your school start a GSA Club
Recommend GLSEN resources to teachers and school counselors
Be available to parents with a child coming out as a support. Help them find resources and information.