Posted on Apr 01,2022
How To Accept Your LGBT Child
Being a parent is a big commitment than what it looks like. It never stops at merely giving birth to a child, along with giving them food, shelter and education. Becoming a parent is, in fact, a lifelong commitment where you need to understand and feel the urge to be understood constantly. To be honest there are still a few things that we find difficult to accept, especially when it comes to the love interest of our kids. This is majorly out of the responsibility they feel as a parent or maybe their own picture of perfection they have in their head or maybe becuase of lack of acceptance or social pressure. In fact, in some regions of the world honour killing is normal and imagine the consequences if a person comes out as a member of the LGBT community. It becomes hard for parents to understand and accept the kids fully.
However, every situation in the world can be handled nicely with a bit of rewiring and the same goes with accepting your rainbow child.
What do kids expect when coming out?
Anger is something that children are used to. More than one of them anticipated being forced out of their families, or at the very least, experiencing a family crisis. And I believe that hearing from young people who remarked, "My coming-out narrative isn't a tragedy," was one of the study's most striking conclusions. That only demonstrates that the assumption is that it will be poor.
How do parents react to the coming out?
Mary Robertson, a sociologist at California State University, San Marcos, expected to hear repetitions of similar experiences when she interviewed teenagers at an LGBTQ youth centre. Despite the fact that the adolescents' lives were far from ideal or conflict-free, the chats astonished her: they weren't the tragedies she imagined. In several cases, when children came out as bisexual, their parents came out to them as well. Despite their fears of being evicted from their houses, some people were pleasantly pleased by the absence of family conflict their admission generated.
Representation of the LGBT community helped a lot
It's crucial to remember that before the 1970s, there was no LGBTQ movement. We just recently began to refer to each other as "gay" or "straight." In our lifetimes, we've been able to witness and witness this event. The parents of the children I spoke with did not grow up in the midst of an LGBTQ movement. However, it was common knowledge among this group of children. The very fact that technology is now a part of your life has a huge impact on today's youth. It expands your possibilities for naming your sexual identity. It's much more difficult to conceive if [LGBTQ identities] aren't even on your mind or in your viewpoint.
Acceptance is still hard
While many parents profess to be welcoming, when their children came out to them, they experienced acute stress and shock. That isn't unusual. According to a new study from George Washington University, most parents of lesbian, gay, and bisexual children struggle to adjust when their children come out. Even if we appear as if everything is fine, a part of us as parents will never accept that our child is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.
How you can be supportive of your kids?
Parents may have varied emotions after learning that their kid is LGBTQ. This might be due to concerns about the child's future in their community — will they be harassed at school or discriminated against in the workplace? — or religious doubts. But, no matter how you feel, Dr Mitrani advises, you should maintain the same attitude: "You want to err on the side of being empathic and helpful."
Dr Mitrani advises parents not to show their sentiments to their children if they are upset about their child being LGBTQ. Talking to a support organisation like PFLAG, a member of your church or congregation, or a therapist about it might be beneficial to both you and your kid. "As a parent, you always have to come back to see what's best for your child," he continues, "even if you have strong views."
Why acceptance is important?
Many studies show that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youths have a greater risk of physical and mental health problems than heterosexual teens, with societal rejection generally being blamed. Another important likely factor, according to recent research on lesbians, homosexuals, and bisexuals, is parental disapproval.
According to the study team, LGB adults who reported high rates of parental rejection in their teens were 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3.4 times more likely to have had unprotected sex than LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection.
"Because families play such an important role in child and adolescent development, it's not unexpected that detrimental, punishing, and traumatizing responses from parents and carers have such a detrimental impact on [young people's] risk behaviours and health status as young adults."
How to accept your LGBT child?
● Let them know they are loved
Breaking the news to mom and dad is the most terrifying element of coming out for many LGBTQ youngsters. "We hear the same thing from patients time and time once more: 'Once my parents are taken care of, I can handle everything else the world throws at me,'" Dr Fields adds. "You're their compass, and your acceptance is crucial. LGBTQ teenagers who are supported by their families grow up to be happier and healthier adults, according to a study."
You don't have to be an expert on anything LGBTQ to show that you care. Dr Sanders reminds us that "there is no right or wrong way to communicate love." "All you have to do is be present and open." Even if you're stumped for words, something as basic as "I'm here for you" can suffice. "I love you and will always be there for you" might mean the world to your child.
● Aks questions and look interested
"Don't be scared to admit that you don't know much about this right now, but you're going to learn," Godwin advises. "However," Kaidanow warns, "it is not your child's obligation to guide you through the process." You have resources as a parent. Discuss your concerns with other parents, a friend, or a support group. "The Internet exists," she says, "and it contains incredible forums, YouTube channels, and websites." 'I don't get it has no justification.
● Let them take the lead while they are coming out
It's possible that you've had your doubts. Coming out is a massive discharge of anxiety, optimism, relief, excitement, and fury — there's a lot going on. If you sense they're on the verge of anything, tell them you've observed something on their mind and that they may come to you with any concerns. Yes, gentle nudges; assertions and declarations – "You're trans, aren't you?" – perhaps not. They should be the ones to say it: this is their screenplay, and we're just spectators.
● Accept and validate their truth
Reeves adds, "Gender and sexuality are like fingerprints." "Recognize and embrace their distinctive identity, and adjust to any name or pronoun changes swiftly." "Don't turn a blind eye" if family members don't use your child's preferred name or pronouns, says Jumel Howard. For the sake of your child, stand up to them." Transgender and non-binary adolescents who reported having their pronoun choice recognised by all or most persons in their lives tried to commit suicide at half the risk of those who did not, according to the Trevor Project survey.
● Work as a team
Supporting others might be difficult at times. It's fine to be anxious, perplexed, or astonished - but don't withdraw when you're most required. "Some families are so stressed out that they simply give up and say, 'I can't do it.' It's a lot for parents to take in, but don't abandon your child," advises Dr Sanders.
"Remember, your child is having more difficulty with this than you," Dr Fields adds, "and your responsibility as a parent comes first." If you're having trouble, get help. If you're having problems tackling it alone, seek help from a paediatrician, a school counsellor, close family members, and even community organisations like Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
● Make them feel as if they can confide in you
Coming out isn't always an issue they need to be solved; most of the time, they just want a sympathetic ear, although it's generally taxing, and they may need you to inform Grandma. It's important not to tell your child not to tell anybody - honestly, your senior relatives will cope – because it implies there's something shameful going on, but you may educate them on possible reactions and caution them if necessary. If they pledge you to secrecy, keep that promise till the end of your days.
In a nutshell, accepting your LGBT kid can be challenging but it is not as tough as you are expecting it to be. All you need to do is calm down a bit and the whole process with rather bring you both closer.