When A Child Comes Out As LGBTQ: Good Things Utah Interview
I recently sat down to discuss “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of what to do and say when a child comes out as LGBTQ. This can be a difficult experience for parents, especially if they are surprised by it. Here are some ways to show love and support (as well as some things to avoid):
DO: Look for support systems for both you and your child that will help promote physical and emotional well-being (including decreasing the risk for suicide). Make sure that your child knows you love him/ her unconditionally and that your love does not change with the coming out experience. Thank your child for trusting you enough to express his/ her true feelings, then vow to become an ally and a safe space for other LGBTQ individuals.
DON”T: Avoid making the experience about you. Also, don’t use religion to shame your child or try to “fix” him/ her. As you process your own feelings, do not reject or shun your child for any reason. Lastly, don’t let anyone else (family members or friends) mock your child.
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available.