Help! My Child is Gay!
How did you feel when you found out your child was gay? Did you get angry, afraid, hurt, confused, sad – many of these and more? I remember when my son told me he was gay at the age of 14. After the shock, I next felt this incredible fear and sadness. Automatically I was terrified of how the world would treat him. Who hasn’t heard of people beating and even killing people just because they were gay? Because of that my first advice to him was “DON’T TELL ANYONE! They will hurt you.” I really was quite terrified.
That was over 10 years ago. Since then I have learned a great deal from my wonderful son, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community, my own research, and other parents of LGBT youth.
My first words of advice to you are - don’t think your child being gay is an abnormality. In fact, one in ten people in this country are LGBT. Approximately one in four families have an immediate family member who is gay.
Secondly, if you have any thoughts of this being your “fault”, forget it. Your child’s sexuality has NOTHING to do with anything you did, ate, said, the toys you bought or didn’t buy, etc.
Thirdly, if you want to find a way to “change” your child’s sexuality, I recommend you try to do what Columnist Amy Dickenson, of the Washington Post, suggested in her column to a parent who said “My son…will not stop being gay.” Amy wrote in her November 18, 2013 column:
“You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your own sexuality to show him how easy it is. Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice — to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure.”
Clearly, just as you could not just “change” your own sexuality, neither could your child.
So, what do you do? Well, take great care in how you treat your child. Whatever you say to her/him and how you treat her/him will have a tremendous impact. You could hurt your child beyond all repair! Many young people have committed suicide because they were not accepted by the very people they needed the most – their parents.
Take a deep breath. Think about what is most important – the love you have for your child. Do some research. Check out Pflag.org. This national organization is designed by and for parents of LBGT youth. They offer information and support groups for parents. Read the book that helped me out so much; Just a Mom by Betty DeGeneres, Ellen DeGeneres’ mother. Contact me – I would be happy to help in whatever way I can.
It’s going to be okay. There are so many horrible things in the world. Your child being gay is DEFINITELY not one of those things.
Finally, love your child. That’s the best thing you can do. Love.
Karen Wrolson of Excite Ed! offers coaching for parents and teens
across the United States.
She also offers presentations to groups on this topic.
Contact Karen at 805 427-0231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org