dating guidelines Let me start off by saying I’m not an expert on this topic. What I write is my opinion. I am the mother of a gay son. By the time he came out to me, he was no longer living at home but I do like to think I would have treated him the same, gay or straight.

And that’s the point. Whatever dating guidelines a parent has for a straight, cisgender teen can be exactly the same for a gay or transgender teen. I was pretty liberal with my sons and I understand that not all parents feel as I did. I never had a rule that girls were not allowed in their room. I’m relatively certain that sex occurred in my house. My philosophy was that I’d rather them be somewhere safe if they were going to have sex than on some dark road in a car. I thought them respect and responsibility and also realized that sex was going to happen.

When my son came out, I was not comfortable with his visiting with a boyfriend and sleeping in the same room. I needed some time to get there and that was okay. My son totally understood. It wasn’t about a double standard for one of my two sons. It was about my adjusting my expectations and it didn’t take me long to get over that.

Whatever your rules are for your teens or young adults, keep them the same for all your kids. If your straight kids aren’t allowed opposite sex people in their rooms with the door closed, even if just friends, then keep it the same for your same-sex attracted teen. If you set a specific age for one-on-one dating, keep it the same for all the kids. If you provide birth control for your straight kids, provide condoms for your gay sons.

A lot of us don’t like to think about our kids having sex. And when it comes to same-sex attracted kids, for many parents, it seems more than they can handle. So just ask yourself what you would do or say to a straight kid. Keep it equitable and fair.

Keep the lines of communication open. Your LGBTQ teen will feel equal if they are treated equally to their straight sisters and brothers.