4 Do’s and Don’ts when your child or loved ones comes out to you

Despite all the progress we have made in recent years regarding LGBTQ rights and equality, coming out can be an intensely emotional and personal experience for many.

Whether it is a friend or colleague, coming out means making yourself vulnerable and opening yourself to face the possible rejection.

Even now, there’s a lot of awareness around the LGBTQ. However, the stigma and challenges still exist around this experience. For example, if your children come out to you or someone you know comes out, you might experience intense fear, shame, confusion, or mixed feelings.

It is essential to understand that you going through this might be natural. However, certain dos and don’ts for when your child comes out to you, even if you are supportive or excited about them.

Few don’t you should pay attention to

1. Don’t ignore it

For a few or most parents, their child loving someone of the same sex can come as a shock to them.

When they hear it, they won’t ignore it or be in denial. It is almost as if you never confessed and heard nothing.

Whereas, on the other hand, some parents are pretty okay with it. They don’t feel weird or unique about the ordeal. On the contrary, they are magnificent with their child’s choices and accepting of them.

In the first case, ignoring can send a message to the child that they are not accepted or rejected. They might think that their emotions, thoughts and feelings do not matter. Or they might feel completely unheard.

Remember that coming out is a process, and there should be a proper discussion or conversation about the same. This experience can often be highly overwhelming and fearful for many children. So your support could mean everything to your child.

2. Don’t say you knew about their sexuality all this while

These days a lot of articles and society have crafted a lot of stereotypes and stigma around LGBTQ. They talk about how they talk, look, walk, etc.

However, it is essential to understand that everyone has a unique journey, and they have to go through it to understand their identity, personality, wants and needs. To top it off, if you tell your child you already knew about their sexuality, it might diminish their journey. They might want to reject themselves or their journey. Instead of this, you could ask them respectfully about their journey. It is also of extreme importance to be soft and gentle with them.

3. Don’t tell them that this is just a phase

Still, we do not fully accept this community, and many feel that LGBTQ is not natural and has a different thought and process around it. When it is someone else, they are okay and respectful, but they are not okay when it comes to someone in their family circle.

When they hear about something like this for the first time, they usually use the phrase that it is a phase and will pass. This would impact your loved one. Your child might feel rejected and affect their personality. Other than this, they might not feel safe with you or trust you again. They will feel judged and uncomfortable.

When you say something like this, you break their trust and their belief in you.

4. Don’t use society or religion to shame on them

Yes, we have to accept it. But, unfortunately, it is still a shame or taboo to many religions for belonging to the LGBTQ community. That’s why people still think that it is not the right thing to do or the right thing to be. In that case, it is crucial to understand that sexuality is natural and it is not a conscious choice or decision. So stop shaming them under the name of society and religion. There is nothing wrong with them. Get an understanding of this.

Few dos you shouldn’t ignore

1. Tell them you do believe in them and love them

It is essential to tell your child that you love them and believe in them. A lot of parents are sometimes okay with who their children are.

But it happens that it might not be the truth. It is essential to understand that this topic or subject could be sensitive for the child. It could be overwhelming to talk about it.

You need to constantly remind them and assure them that you love them and you believe them. Children should trust you with your unconditional support. Instead of saying, oh, this is not true, it is best to give them all your ears.

2. Ask if they need any support

Do ask them if they need any support. For example, when your child is a part of the LGBTQ community, they feel anxiety.

They might need support and understanding to gain the strength to fight with others. But, if you are on their side, they won’t be afraid of anyone and will easily face all the challenges.

3. Do educate yourself

If you are heterosexual and you have absolutely no knowledge about LGBTQ. And if your child comes out to you, it is crucial to know about it. It helps you, and it helps them. So it is good to upgrade your knowledge.

4. Get support for yourself too

Initially, things might seem fine, you might feel okay with your child being different, but it can be overwhelming for you, too, as a parent.

You might have a lot of questions. For example, you might wonder if you need to treat them differently or do you need to understand your child differently, or do you need to talk to them differently. You might also feel anxious about the thought of dealing with society or other family members.

It is understandable to be in this situation. Take support for yourself to feel better. If you are strong, only then will you be able to support your child as well.

If you feel like talking to someone and wants a safe place feel free to connect with me

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