GLBT National Help Center Blog

Helping the LGBT Community

“Why Won’t My Child Come Out to Me?”

with 5 comments

We previously discussed things to consider when coming out to one’s parents, but what if you’re the parent and you think your child is gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgendered and want your child to come out to you?  We receive calls from some parents who believe or even know that their children are gay, yet have not heard it first-hand from their kids.  They sometimes experience feelings of hurt that their children might not trust them.

If this describes you, first of all congratulations for being receptive to the possibility of your child being something other than straight.  We applaud that you want your child to feel free to be open about who he/she is.

It might be frustrating that your child hasn’t come out to you (if, indeed, he/she is GLBT), but please be patient.  While your son or daughter’s GLBT status might be clear to you, keep in mind that it might not yet be clear to your son or daughter.  Coming out is a very personal process, and your child may not be ready to face all of the feelings that come with it.

Here are some things you can do or say to ease the process for your child:

  • Discuss current events that affect GLBT people.  Give your positive opinion readily, and ask what your child thinks.
  • Have conversations about any GLBT people you may personally know.  Talk about their experiences with your child.
  • Let your child know that your love is unconditional.  You might even go through various scenarios of what your child could do or be and let him/her know that it wouldn’t change your feelings.
  • If you feel your child is struggling and it’s a financial and/or scheduling possibility, arrange for counseling for your child.  It’s less important that your child talk to you than that they talks to someone who lets your child know that being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered is normal and okay.  We can help you find a gay-affirming therapist in your area.

It really all boils down to patience, love and understanding, something that parents tend to have in spades.  And if you want to talk, we’re here.

Written by glbtnhc

September 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Coming Out, Parent

5 Responses

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  1. As lesbian parents, my friends have started a movement called FREE2LUV to celebrate everyone’s freedom to love!

    They feel called upon to support gay & questioning youth organizations to help end gay bullying & allow our children to freely express themselves.

    Check out FREE2LUV at


    Aurora Dimitri

    September 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm

  2. My husband and I found lots of gay porn on my son’s computer. We explained to him that porn of any type wasn’t permitted without committing on the nature of the porn he was looking at. Although this doesn’t confirm he is gay, it makes us wonder. For a while, I suspected he may be gay, or at a minimum, struggling with some inner conflict he felt he couldn’t talk to anyone about. He has never “fit in” and we think is prone to depression, or at least, depressive episodes. Everything we have read says not to ask him if he is gay but we want to tell him it’s ok and that we support and love him. We are very worried about him being bullied or threatened at school since it has happened a lot in our community to kids that come out. We don’t want him to be any less than he is and we want him to be proud of who he is but we also want him to be safe. Also, we want to speak to him about sexual abstinence, whether gay or straight, at this age. He is struggling, I can see it and sense it. He is only 14 and I hate for him to go through this alone. What should I do?


    October 3, 2011 at 7:36 am

    • Just give it time he will tell you when he is ready I haven’t told my parents yet and it’s becase I don’t know how things will change and I don’t want them to I know there ok with it they say it all the time we have friends that are gay LBT and I’m only 14 i have known for only maby 2 years just bring it up some time like in the car and only when it’s you and/or your wife or husband any way let him know it’s ok and if he were u would love him just the same and you can take my word for it I my be only 14 but these things help me i have told my friend and she is a girl we are best friends so he just needs someone to talk to and sometimes it’s hard around adults so hopefully this helps


      January 17, 2012 at 5:36 am

  3. […] do understand that some parents feel that they need answers about their children’s sexual orientation, but these are answers only your children can provide, and they need to do that on their own […]

  4. My son is bisexual and has kept it a secret and “came out” to his sister this past Christmas eve, he and she spent most of the night in the car, crying and talking. She did tell us, but did not want us to tell him we knew. We are open, accepting, and encouraging of all types of people, LGBT included, and we let him know that, but he still doesn’t want to tell us. He is 19. I feel he is suffering with the secret, and he has had lots of overuse of pot and alcohol since he turned 18, and doesn’t have to “listen to his parents” anymore. I now find out he was smoking pot all thru High School behind our backs. I have always spent a lot of time with him, so it was hard to believe he had fooled me for so long.
    He dropped out of college after a few weeks, and ran away for a year, barely getting by, selling plasma etc to make $$.
    Last year, he moved back home, but if we ask him to do anything, he refuses, and works to make money to party, and does it excessively.
    I feel if he could be honest with us and know we love him unconditionally he could stop beating himself up and living in a fog.
    Does anyone know what I can do to help him???


    February 2, 2012 at 5:01 am

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