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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Every Parent of a Gay Child Needs to Know

The "coming out" process for any LGBT person, especially to one's family, is often a very traumatic experience.  What is often overlooked is the trauma visited upon the family, especially the parents.

Mom and dad are very often confronted with a whole new world that they previously knew little or nothing about.  Although suspicions of same-sex orientation may have lurked in the background, they are often quickly dismissed; the possibility is too dire to entertain.  At least that's what they think.

There are many voices of concern out there urging many different approaches.  So, where does a parent begin?  Who or what can a parent turn to for help?  How can the proper information be separated from the harmful, or just plain ignorant?  These and other questions will be answered along the way.  I write from the perspective of a pastor of over 40 years who has been confronted with just about every situation a parent can experience, including counseling dozens of parents and hundreds of gay children.  You may feel that no one else has gone through what you are experiencing right now, but you will soon discover much company along the way.

This series of articles is intended to assist parents who are genuinely trying to understand their gay child.  If you are such a parent, the sooner you get involved with them with understanding and support, the better the outcome will be for all concerned. You don't have to have all the answers, or any for that matter.  All you need to begin is to acknowledge that your child is no different today from the one you brought into the world, that your love is the same and continues, and that nothing can change that.  If you truly believe this, the rest of these articles will help you.  If you can't affirm your love for your child, get counseling immediately; studies show that suicides are a greater risk following parental rejection.  I don't tell you this to make you feel worse, it is a fact that you need to know and consider.

Over the next two weeks or so, these are the subjects we will look into.  We will take them one at a time.
  • You are not alone
  • What is the LGBT(QIA) thing?
  • Your child is just fine
  • Will my son get HIV/AIDS?
  • What if my child is Transgender? Navigating the intersexual world
  • You are not to blame
  • The Bible doesn't condemn your child
  • Marriage is a good possibility
  • You still may have grandchildren
If you take advantage of the support available to you now, you may never have to face the the worst fate for a parent, as explained by Mary Lou Wallner in this 5 minute video.

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