Archive for the ‘Parent’ Category
For one caller to the GLBT National Help Center, coming out to his parents started with a phone call that went like this:
Son: “I have something I want to talk to you both about. But I’m really not sure how to put it.”
Mom: (short silence) “Then why don’t you just PUT IT.”
Son: (another short silence) “I’m gay.”
Mom: (gasp) “I knew you were going to say that.”
Dad: “Are you just feeling like you are gay? Or are you living the gay lifestyle. Because if you are that is what is wrong.”
Son: “Yes Dad. I’m living the gay lifestyle. If that is what you want to call it.”
The caller said that he was living on his own and had a stable career when he made this call. The call ended by the parents telling him that they still loved him and they would work through this together.
That evening he called the GLBT National Help Center to talk to a peer councilor about the call and was equally upset and relieved.
By the end of the his call with us, he had not only talked through some of his frustrations, but he also had a list of local services in his town that may be of help to a gay man living alone.
While coming out and “being gay” is becoming more acceptable for some, it is still a very painful and traumatic process for many.
The GLBT National Help Center is here for that reason. We offer not only peer counseling and facts about safe sex, but we also offer referrals through our massive database of GLBT related services.
Toll-free 1-888-THE-GLNH (1-888-843-4564)
Monday thru Friday from 1pm to 9pm, pacific time
(Monday thru Friday from 4pm to midnight, eastern time)
Saturday from 9am to 2pm, pacific time
(Saturday from noon to 5pm, eastern time)
A common question that gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgendered people are asked is “When did you know?” It’s a tricky question in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity. People who have not struggled with these issues sometimes operate under the assumption that a switch was flipped and all became clear, but that is often not the case.
Discovering one’s own sexual orientation or gender identity can be a short or long process, depending on many things like environment, self-awareness, and exposure to different ideas. But one thing is for sure: Once people discover they are queer, it is significantly easier to come out if they are in a loving and supportive environment.
Please read this touching essay written by a mom of a six-year-old about how she is creating an environment where it is okay for her son to be whoever he is.
Want to talk about this or other issues? Give us a call, start a chat or send us an email.
Android recently released an app called, “Is my son gay?” It features twenty questions for a mother to answer about her son, focusing on the son’s reading habits, musical tastes, clothing choices, etc.
This app is absurd. Its intention might be humor, but even that falls flat. The only thing that determines whether anyone is gay is whether or not that person is primarily physically and/or romantically attracted to people of the same gender. Masculinity or femininty have nothing to do with it, nor does one’s interest in Lady Gaga’s music (which is appreciated by ALL sexual orientations).
We 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 timelines. The discovery of one’s sexual orientation is not based on one encounter, but has to be considered over time with the evaluation of feelings for people of the opposite gender versus people of the same gender.
So sadly, when it comes to tacky technology, there’s an app for that!
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.