A guide on what to do when your child comes out to you

In a recent interview with Ellen on the Ellen Degeneres show NBA All-Star Dwayne Wayde and husband to Gabriel Union shared how he and his wife are proud parents to a child who is part of the LGBTQI community.

In an interview Dwayne Wayde, husband of Gabriel Union shares how their 12 year old son Zion, originally born a boy, sat them down and shared that he would like to live his truth and wanted to be reference as a she and her, Zaya. “It was our responsibility to go out and get information and reach out to every relationship that we had to get as much information as we could to make sure that we give our child the best opportunity to be her best self”, explains Wade.

According to the Family Equality organisation, “Coming out to your parents is usually a pretty monumental moment for most LGBTQ people. Though the risk of rejection may be less if your parents also identify as LGBTQ, the potential is still there. So if your child comes out to you, or a friend’s child comes out to them, there are plenty of things you can do (and some things you should definitely not do) to best support your child.”

Here are some tips for you to support your child:

Let them know that you believe them, love them and thank them for telling you

At this moment they have built up the courage to be vulnerable by telling you this information to you so respond with love and support. They need to hear that this doesn’t change the fact that you love them and that you are there for them.

Ask what other support they need

Find out if there has been any other issue related to this that they are still unsure about and need guidance about where to find information.

Get yourself some support as well

Get in touch with organisations that will help you answer some of the questions that you may have and deal with some of the fears you may have. The support will give you the tools and knowledge you need to better support your child.

Don’t use religion to shame them

While your family may be religious and belong to a church that has its opinions on the subject of LGBTQI, don’t use it to make your child feel ashamed of who they are. Plus, they may also already feel conflicted about how to reconcile how they identify with their family’s religious beliefs.

Become an ally to the LGBTQI Community

This will not only give you access to places to get information but here you can learn LGBTQI terminology and understand the identities within the community that are working to make the world a better place for your child.

Do not say “You knew all along”

Don’t conform to false stereotypes of what LGBTQI people look or act like to prove to your child that you knew all long. Everyone is unique and so is their journey.

 

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