What you can do, say and research to make your LGBTQIA+ child feel loved and heard.
Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community does NOT mean that you have a social, emotional, behavioral, or mental challenge. However, unfortunately societal stigmas surrounding the community can impact mental health, especially the mental health of LGBTQIA+ youth. These are tips from members of the LGBTQIA+ community about what they are glad their own parents did, and what they wish they
had done when they came out to protect their mental health.
What to do as soon as your child comes out to you.
There will be things you don't know; don't panic. Tell them that you will learn what
you don't know and you will be there for every step of their self discovery.
Tell them that they are in charge of who they come out to and when they decide to do that.
Reassure them you are always on their side.
Let them know this only changes what they want it to change.
Remember this is the same child you loved yesterday, and last week. Continue to love
them as you always have.
They may not be asking you to understand, they are asking you to accept and love them. Don't panic and let them get their thoughts out before you ask questions.
If you tell them anything in that moment back it up with actions. If you told them you would find them a therapist to talk to? Find one. If you told them you would research? Start it that night. Visit our Find a Therapist page to find LGBTQIA+ friendly therapists.
Thank them for sharing their authentic self with you.
Use the correct terminology
Terminology in the LGBTQIA+ community is ever evolving and as an ally it is import that you stay up
to date. Respect your child and every other member of the community by continuing your research and
making it a priority.
When your child comes out to you and tells you how they identify make sure to use the words they do. When other people in your life use the wrong term correct them - every single time.
Do's and Don'ts
DO ask your child questions such as their preferred pronouns or how they identify rather than assuming.
However DON'T use your child as an LGBTQIA+ encyclopedia. Go to Google right away and start searching. Find the correct terminology to use, look for support groups for both you and your child if either of you
feel like you need them. Research and learn from the LGBTQIA+ community.