20 May 2002

Why Did My Child Tell Me He/She is Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual?

Why Did My Child Tell Me He/She is Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual?

Équipe -Pose ta question!-

Some parents feel they would have been happier not knowing about their child’s sexuality. They look back to before they knew and recall this time as problem-free overlooking the distance they often felt from their child during that time.

Sometimes we try to deny what is happening by rejecting what we’re hearing (“It’s just a phase; you’ll get over it”); by shutting down (“If you choose that lifestyle, I don’t want to hear about it”); or by not registering the impact of what we’re being told (“That’s nice, dear, and what do you want for dinner?”). These are all natural reactions.

However, if you did not know the truth about your child’s sexuality, you would never really know your child. A large part of his or her life would be kept secret from you, and you would never really know the whole person.

It is important to accept and understand your child’s sexuality  because homosexuality and bisexuality are not a phase.

While people may experiment for some time with their sexuality, someone who has reached the point of telling a parent that he or she is gay is not usually going through a phase. Generally, he or she has given long and hard thought to understanding and acknowledging his or her sexual orientation.

So if you’re wondering, “Is she sure?” the answer will almost always be “yes.” Telling a parent that you think you’re gay or bi involves overcoming too many negative stereotypes and taking far too much risk for anyone to take that step lightly or prematurely.

The fact that your son or daughter told you is a sign of his or her love and need for your support and understanding. It took a lot of courage. And it shows a very strong desire for an open, honest relationship with you a relationship in which you can love your child for who he or she is, rather than for who you want him or her to be.


Adapted from “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” written by PFLAG