You have probably heard it said that kids don’t come with a manual, but that could never be truer for parents of LGBT children. When your child comes out as gay, it can feel like a life-changing event that catches you completely off guard. You may find yourself questioning your own values and beliefs, which is totally normal. If you are struggling, consider reaching out to other parents of LGBT kids or even organizations such as PFLAG.
Having your child tell you they are gay is not an excuse to question their sexual orientation or make them feel guilty about it. Your daughter’s sexual orientation is not your fault, and she didn’t choose to be gay. She took a risk when she came out, and you should support her. You can help her during this difficult time by showing unconditional love.
It’s also important to let your child know that you didn’t always know they were gay, and it’s not your fault. You may have suspected, based on things such as their mannerisms, dress, or interests, but it’s impossible to know for sure. Trying to pin down their orientation early can be damaging.
It’s not uncommon for people to discover their sexuality in their teens. It’s not a new thing, and they may have already been grappling with the idea for years. Regardless of their orientation, they’re still your kid—the one you raised, praised, loved, comforted, and nurtured. Their orientation just adjusts how you see them.