1) Don’t say it’s just a phase
Yes, there are some children that are just curious, and they want to experience what it’s like to be with someone of the same sex. On the other hand, the majority have been born gay and have been having those feelings since very young. If it’s a phase, your child will eventually discern that for herself. Telling her it’s only a phase minimizes her feelings and she’ll no longer trust your opinion and advice.
2) Don’t say that being gay is a sin
So you think that being gay is a sin? Well that’s relative. Many belief systems don’t believe that being gay is a sin. Gay people have been around way before religions have been in place. Would you want someone to judge and persecute you for who you are attracted to, or who you love? Focus on teaching your child how to treat people with respect, kindness, and fairness. In my opinion a sin is discriminating against people, because of their ethnicity, gender, class, or sexual orientation.
3) Don’t say that being gay is wrong
What is your evidence that being gay is wrong? Is it because society and people with high rankings told you that it is? Are you the kind of person that doesn’t think for yourself? And if that’s the case would you rather your child be influenced by what others think? Or do you want your child to be a leader and think for himself?
4) Don’t kick him out the home
Wow, this is a sure way to reject your flesh and blood. How would you feel if you confided in your parent, and he kicked you out into the street? And to make it worst what if something horrible happened to you while you were away from home. People tend to take advantage of young people that are disowned from their family. Many of these children turn to prostitution and drugs to survive. Or they have to deal with unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of them. This can lead to severe feelings of depression, and worst suicide.
5) Don’t say you’re disappointed in him
If you’re feeling disappointed, I hate to say it, but that’s your problem. I’m sure you’ve done something in your life that has disappointed some one, and guess what? That person just had to get over it. Your disappointment has to do with your beliefs and your fears, and that’s something that you should process on your own.
If you believe that you’ve done something wrong, and that’s why your child is gay, then you’re wrong. If your child was born gay, then it seems like a Higher Power must’ve allowed it to happen. Blaming yourself is not logical and is a waste of time and energy.
6) Don’t try to make him heterosexual
Imagine someone desperately trying to make you gay against your will. That thought seems kind of weird doesn’t it? Trying to make a gay person heterosexual will only cause him to feel shame, guilt, anger, and depression, and will interfere with him functioning in a healthy way. If you want your child to live a happy, successful life, where he’s living the truth and not a lie, let him be himself.
7) Don’t say you don’t want to hear about it
Not listening to your child, won’t magically make him heterosexual. Stop being in denial and face the truth. You’re an adult with responsibilities, and I’m sure you make important decisions everyday. With that being said, I’m sure you can handle listening to your child, and helping him through what he’s going through. That’s what being a parent is all about, being there when your child needs you the most.
8) Don’t say that being gay is a choice
Did you choose to be heterosexual? If you were born heterosexual then it was only natural for you to be attracted to someone of the opposite sex. If you were born gay, it would be just as natural that you’d be attracted to someone who’s gay.
Now, if you happen to have thoughts about being with someone of the same sex and you choose to not act on those thoughts? Then that is your choice. You have the right to choose what you want, and to not impose your judgments on anyone else. So, even if you believe someone has a choice, what they choose is none of your business.
9) Don’t criticize, judge, or tell jokes about people being gay
Criticizing, judging, and telling obnoxious jokes about being gay, will not change the fact that he is gay. It will only make him feel shame, and may cause him to develop mood disorders or other dysfunctions.
In addition, it makes you seem immature, ignorant, and close minded. Enlightened, compassionate and mature individuals do not behave that way. Criticizing your child will cause him to lose respect for you, and will ruin your relationship. It just isn’t wise.
10) Don’t say you never want to meet their partner
Okay, I realize you don’t want his being gay to be in your face, but what are you afraid of? Are you ashamed that your friends will find out? Are you afraid that being gay is contagious, and that you’ll become gay if you meet a gay person?
You shouldn’t be worried about what people think of you. If you are that’s an issue you should resolve, because it’s probably preventing you from being the carefree person you’d love to be; and keeping you from living your life to the fullest.
If your friends criticize you and your child, then they’re not true friends. And I doubt that you’ll miraculously turn gay, just from being in the presence of someone that’s gay. The worst case scenario is that you’ll learn that gay people are just like everyone else, and you’ll just become more open minded and compassionate. Hey, maybe you’ll win the Nobel Peace Prize!
10 Things you Should Do if Your Child Says That They are Gay
1) Do listen
2) Do empathize
3) Do be supportive
4) Do try and understand
5) Do discuss safer sex practices
6) Do normalize her feelings
7) Do let him know that you love him unconditionally
8) Do encourage him to come to you as needed
9) Do make yourself available to talk and spend time with her
10) Do congratulate him for having the courage to come out the closet
Whenever you don’t know how to respond to an issue, ask yourself, “what would I do if I was compassionate and wise?” Then do just that!