1. Please know that your child has probably wanted to tell you they are gay or lesbian for a long time. In all of their debates in their head, they finally decided that they trust you enough to tell you. Many parents are upset because their child didn’t tell them sooner. Let me tell you that the process of coming out happens WAY before your child told ANYONE. Often times there is confusion they feel. They are different than other people in their school and family and they don’t know what to call it. Then they have to figure out if this is truly who they are. Many times it takes years for kids to figure this out. By the time they have told you, they are pretty sure this is who they are and have probably “practiced” coming out with other people so they get it right with you.
2. Your child needs your unconditional love and support. No matter how you feel about your child, it is your job as their parent to be there for them. Listen, let them know you would love to get to know this part of them more, and most importantly TELL THEM that you love them and you want them to be happy (I hope this something that you can genuinely tell your child. If not, please call to make an appointment so you can sort this out on your own so you don’t do any accidental harm to your child).
3. There is a very good chance that they have been discriminated against and/or hurt for who they are. They don’t need to be discriminated against and/or hurt by the person who is supposed to be there for them the most. Maybe they have been called names, maybe they were bullied, or maybe they listen to the nightly news station that has only negative things to say about them (not all stations do this, of course). Regardless, they don’t need to be bullied at home. Gay and lesbian people have a very high rate of suicide compared to the general population because of the lack of support they receive. You can greatly reduce this statistic for your child by being there for them…unconditionally.
4. If you need support, if you are having trouble, if you are not able to be 100% supportive, please call me to get support. Therapy can be a place you talk about your feelings as well as a place you can ask questions about things you don’t know. You can ask “would this be okay to ask my gay/lesbian child” and actually get answers without you worrying about hurting your child by asking those questions.
If you are looking for a gay friendly therapist in Long Beach, or Transgender friendly therapist in Long Beach for yourself or your child, please call to set up an appointment. Please remember that if you are not in driving distance from my office, that I do provide skype and facetime sessions. It is sometimes difficult to find a gay friendly therapist, so we try to accommodate our clients by providing tele-therapy (meaning skype, facetime, etc).