Who should I tell?
Often when a LGBT young person ‘comes out’ to their parents they feel very relieved. Many parents however may feel that their child’s 'burden' or 'problem' has been transferred on to them.
Your child’s sexuality is often not the burden or the problem, but how you feel about it, or how you react to it may become a problem. These feelings are common, and it may help to talk about them or tell someone else.
So, who do you turn to? Who do you tell? How will your family and friends react? What should you tell your other children? Will they understand? The questions are endless. Be patient. Take as much time as you need to explore how you feel. Allow yourself time to get used to the idea.
Take your time in order to think, to question, to talk, to listen, to discuss, to share, to learn and to adapt. You may decide you need to talk to someone who will listen and be sensitive. This could be your partner, another family member, your GP, a counsellor or therapist, your minister or priest. Please remember that like you, they may never have had experience of dealing with a situation like this, and may even respond negatively or inappropriately. Think carefully before you decide who to tell, or who you turn to.
If there is someone you feel you want to tell, you should discuss this with your child first. Why? By telling another person about your child’s sexuality you are automatically ‘outing’ him to that person, and you may have no way of judging the reaction. Remember, it will have taken your child some time before telling you that they are LGBT. So be sensitive, and talk with your child first.
Your child may wish to inform other people themselves in their own time, or they may prefer you to do this for them, but always consult with your child before telling anyone. For example, telling their brothers or sisters, grandparents, relatives, or close family friends. This may be difficult for you, but remember it is a good thing that your child is coming to you for your help.