My Child Came Out: What Should I do?
1. Reassure your child of your LOVE and support for them. Example: I love you, you are my child, whether you are gay, straight, bi, queer, trans or non-binary... Your sexual orientation or gender identity does not affect my love for you. I want you to be healthy, happy and whole. I support you. 2. Don't just pay lip service, you can say all those things and without any meaningful action to support it, it now teaches your child that lies are often told. Example: I love you and no longer spending holidays with your child. No longer inviting your child to family events. Excluding your child from events that you would have included them in previously. Voicing something that is gaslighting your child and then masquerading it as I was only voicing my feelings. Continuously deadnaming your child if they're trans or non-binary. Continuously using inappropriate pronouns for them if they're trans or non-binary. 3. Actively ask your child what ways would feel best for your support to come in?
Example: How can I best support you? Is there medical care I can assist you with? Are you interested in connecting with others like you? Practice using the right name and pronouns for your child at all times, whether your child is present or not. (If your child happens to be trans or non-binary) Correct people who deadname and misgender your child. (If your child happens to be trans or non-binary Again, honor your child's requests of support in the ways they are ok with. 4. If you are struggling, go find yourself an LGBTQ friendly therapist (and I'm not talking about one that thinks conversion therapy is appropriate). 5. Lastly, this is your child's journey, they have chosen to trust you enough to invite you along as they explore who they are. This is not about you failing as a parent, rather it is about your child finding the appropriate ways to navigate life for themselves and not to be bound and constricted by expectations. Your child trusted you enough to come out to you, that means you did something right. Bottom line, this is your chance to shine! Show up for your kid. Celebrate your child.