To Top

10 Tips For Parents of a Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender Child

By Jana Angeles

If your child has recently come out as a member of LGBTQ+ community, you’re not alone! Many parents around the world have witnessed their child come out to them and we understand how difficult that must be at such a young age. Children begin to build their identity and people don’t realise how complex a person’s gender can be. For many of us, identifying as male or female is easy but for others, it isn’t at all. Sexuality is also something that isn’t black and white either.

It’s important that we learn to love and support our children who have come out to us. For them, it’s a big milestone to identify with this community. Here are some of our top ten tips on what to do when your child has identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

 1. Don’t Ignore It

Your child coming out to you is a difficult process and choosing to ignore it can only make them feel worse. Understand that they are coming from a place of love and sharing an important part of themselves that they identify with. It’s okay to have conflicting feelings over the news and not fully accept the situation just yet. From coming out, your child has opened a new world; a world where you have lots to learn from their identity. Appreciate the courage it took for them to tell you because this shows how much they trust you!

 2. Never Say, “I Always Knew”

You’ve probably always had a feeling your child was different from all their other peers, and when parents have an “inkling”, they’re normally right about it. If your child chooses to tell you they are either gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, never tell them that you “always knew”. Because coming out is such a huge step for them, it’s supposed to feel liberating that they can finally share something they’ve kept hidden. Letting them know you always knew their sexual identity can make the event anticlimactic and less freeing for them.

 3. Learn To Ask Questions

Although the Internet has numerous sources on the LGBTQ+ community, your best and main one should be your child. Asking them questions on their sexuality can help you understand them, especially if you aren’t too familiar with their identity. Kids are always wondering about themselves on a daily so asking them relevant things can be beneficial for their own learning too.

Always take into consideration the sensitivity of the topic and only ask them questions they are comfortable in answering. Don’t pressure your child and interrogate them with questions that insult their identity or seem condescending. Besides websites, you can also look into books and read more about raising your LGBTQ child. Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child by Telaina Eriksen is a good book that gives parents support for their child, especially when going through the struggles of a less accepting society.

4. Avoid Making Assumptions

The one tip in raising an LGBTQ child is to never assume anything. Just because they identify with this community, doesn’t necessarily make them fit into any sort of stereotype media has portrayed in Film and TV. The last thing you want is to upset your child because of something you assumed all LGBTQ children have done. Your child is different and unique, just like anybody else. Being part of the LGBTQ+ community is only part of their identity, not all of it.

 5. Discuss If They’re Comfortable With Coming Out To Others

Although you have authority over your LGBTQ child, you must do your best to respect their wishes especially if they have told you they are not comfortable in discussing their identity to others. Members of your immediate family may start asking questions but learn how to handle them gracefully. Say things like, “Please respect my child’s wishes. I am not able to answer those questions at this present time” or “I have to respectfully decline your question because it doesn’t feel right if it comes from me.”

 6. Talk About Safe Sex

This is up to your discretion but if your child has reached the appropriate age of maturity, discuss the topic of Safe Sex. It’s important that they are aware of their risk in contracting  Sexually-Transmitted Diseases and that they know the options of contraception. Receiving any sort of sex education classes can be beneficial for your child.

 7. Respect Their Gender

You may find that your daughter wants to wear a suit or your son wanting to wear a dress, it’s important to respect their decision and never coerce them into anything that insults their identity. Through this journey of theirs, you may learn they want to try new things when it comes to their looks and that they don’t specifically identify with only one gender. Although most parents might not find this easy, giving them the freedom of choice is the best option you have for your LGBTQ+ child.

 8. Don’t Put The Blame On Anybody Else

Human beings are always going to be complex individuals and no matter our gender or sexuality, we battle through so many worlds within us. For your child identifying as a member of the LGBTQ+ is nobody’s fault and you should avoid blaming a family member, a friend they regularly hang out with or yourself.  There are so many factors to consider when it comes to their identity and like us, a number of experiences has helped shaped them for who they are today.

9. Avoid Asking About Their Queer Identity Before They Have Even Come Out To You

Getting back to the point addressed in number four, assuming anything can only make things worse. Coming out is a huge deal for your child and if you are already aware of their LGBTQ+ identity, don’t say anything about it. Putting them on the spot can make them feel extremely uncomfortable and can discourage them from coming out. Let them prepare to do this on their own. It is something even us parents can’t help them with.

 10. Remind Them That They Are Loved

It’s tough being an individual within the LGBTQ+ community and the reality is, your child will be facing some challenging obstacles ahead of them. There will be moments in their life where they will come across close-minded individuals who will be less accepting of their identity. They will also be at high-risk of bullying in schools too. It’s important that we remind ourselves that this is our child and they need our unconditional love and support. We need to be there in their darkest moments and to always help them feel encouraged in some capacity. Even if we struggle in understanding them, reminding them that they are loved once can help them get through the pain and heartbreak of people less accepting of them.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

More in School Kids

  • Important Road Safety Rules to Teach your Kids 

    Whether you are scooting at the skatepark or to school, it’s important to know the road rules. Here are some top...

    My ChildJanuary 15, 2018
  • Quality Education

    Written by Madeline Mitchell  What is quality education? Madeline Mitchell, owner of Hi iQ Tutoring Bondi and a parent herself discusses this topic with us! As a...

    My ChildJanuary 15, 2018
  • Dealing with Peer Pressure and Bullying 

    Written by Karli Steenkamp  As parents, we need different skills for different roles and stages in our children’s lives. Parenting doesn’t...

    My ChildJanuary 15, 2018
  • After School Care – What Should You Do?

    Written by Jana Angeles  After School Care is a tricky one for all parents. They say it’s a struggle being a...

    My ChildJanuary 15, 2018
  • The Importance of Early Mathematics Learning

    Written by Rebekah O’Flaherty The importance of early childhood learning and its impact on future development, health and wellbeing is widely acknowledged....

    My ChildJanuary 15, 2018
  • Top Tips On How To Handle Lies

    Written by Jana Angeles  Honesty is the best policy, but unfortunately there will be times where your kids will lie to...

    My ChildJanuary 15, 2018
  • Back To School Meal Prep and Planning

    Written by Jana Angeles It’s that time of year again where we’ll find ourselves lingering stationery stores, getting school uniforms prepared...

    My ChildJanuary 15, 2018
  • How To Avoid Spoiling Kids During Christmas

    Written by Jana Angeles  Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! During this period, parents, grandparents and other immediate...

    My ChildDecember 1, 2017
  • Dealing With A Shy Child

    Written by Jana Angeles  Shy children cannot be underestimated for their talents. Just because they’re more reserved and less outspoken than...

    My ChildDecember 1, 2017

This is a place to find not only wholesome and simple parenting reads and information, but encouragement, humour and motivation for your journey as a caregiver. At My Child Mag, it is truly our greatest heart’s desire to help others find encouragement and fulfilment through the best digital magazine experience possible.



Copyright © 2015. Design By Zazen Web Design

Subscribe to 'My Child'
Enter your email below to get started:
We never share your details