When Teens Question Their Sexuality
Parenting is an incredibly difficult job. Every child has a unique set of needs, challenges and strengths for parents to discover and manage. For parents of children who are — or might be — LGBTQ, or Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer or Questioning, it can be especially important to learn more, be connected and find parent supports.
Find someone to talk to or join a support group:
Most parents have strong emotions and concerns when their child comes out to them. Knowing that you have a trusted person to talk to can certainly help you process these feelings. By joining a support group you can find parents who can relate to the situation and have experiences to share.
The LGBTQ community has a whole set of terminology and issues that many outside the community are not familiar with. Learn more about the commu- nity so you can assist your child. PFLAG is an organization that provides support, education, and advocacy for LGBT persons as well as their families, friends, and allies. To learn more visit pflag.org.
Communicate with your child:
Start having positive conversations with your child about LGBT issues from an early age. Even starting with a simple “some girls like girls and some boys like boys and that’s perfectly fine”, instead of talking about those who identify as transgendered, can spark a conversation. Your child will learn that if they have questions they can safely come to you.
Keep things in perspective:
If your young boy wants to put on a dress or your daughter wants to play with trucks, let them! Avoiding gender stereotypes and allowing kids to express themselves is the best policy no matter what their sexual or gender orientation is! Your goal should be to help them become the person they are meant to be. As long as they aren’t harming anyone, let your child explore their sexual and gender orientation without making a fuss about it.
Supporting your child is extremely important:
While you probably have many questions and worries, your child probably has just as many if not more! It’s very important to let your child know that they are always able to talk to you no matter what the issue is. Becoming a support system for your child is just another way to help them on their journey.