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Seven-striped rainbow flag. Drawn by Fibonacci.

Seven-striped rainbow flag. Drawn by Fibonacci. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When your kid comes out LGBTQ (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/Queer), there is only one appropriate response.

I love you.

And a hug.

This is your kid.  You carried this kid in your body for the better part of a year, below your heart, on top of your bladder.  You birthed this person, nursed and fed this person, and lost a lifetime’s worth of sleep for this person.  You cheered on, fought for, fought with, worried about, sacrificed for, and secretly promised you would die for this person.

This is still your kid.

If your kid comes out to you as LGBTQ, know that it is probably the hardest thing  s/he has ever done.  Your kid is terrified you will judge and reject him.  There are news reports about LGBTQ kids whose families throw them out on the streets because the family believes being LGBTQ is wrong.  You know what’s wrong?  Abandoning your kid.

If your kid has come out to you as LGBTQ, s/he’s already heard (in her head and from his peers, the media, religious and political leaders) all the judgments and nasty remarks.  S/He doesn’t need to hear it from you.

It is an act of profound trust and courage for your kid to come out to you.

There will be plenty of time later to ask questions (Are you sure?  When did you know?) and even to privately mourn the loss of the pictures you held in your mind’s-eye of the future (the traditional wedding, the grandkids, the things you didn’t even realize you pictured).  But right now, honor your kid’s courage.  Honor who your kid is.

And tell your kid, “I love you.”

More information:

PFLAG, Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays

Gender Spectrum

Preventing Suicide Among LGBTQ Youth

Becoming Max: Confronting Gender Identity Disorder

Supportive Families, Healthy Children

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