This is a repeat of a blog from some years back and I think it bears repeating.
Your child recently came out to you and your head is reeling. Your emotions are in an upheaval and you’re not sure what to do or where to turn. You feel alone and afraid. You are not alone. Any and all of the feelings you are experiencing right now are common for parents of LGBT kids. We have all had them.
In this post I’m going to list many of the common feelings and concerns parents have when their child comes out. In upcoming posts I will delve more deeply into some of the feelings and reactions.
Here are some common reactions and concerns parents have upon learning “My child is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender”:
- Feeling terrified
- Being afraid for their safety – there are so many dangerous people in the world
- This is not the life I imagined for him or her
- Total confusion
- I want it not to be true
- I hoped it would be a phase
- Feelings of guilt – It must be me or I must have done something wrong
- Doubt – Is this real?
- What will happiness look like for my child
- Fear they will turn to substance abuse to cope
- Feelings of shame
If your child told you they are transgender, in addition to what I mention above, there are added feelings and concerns, such as:
- Terrified of hormones & surgeries
- Use of hormones and/or surgery is just weird
- How’s he or she going to successful
- Who’s going to love my child
- Siblings feel neglected
- Does the life you envision include me
- Can I have the same relationship with my son that I had with my daughter (or vice versa)
This is where we start but it doesn’t have to be where we stay. You have a choice. Will you stay in this state of confusion, worry, and fear or will you reach out for help? It’s up to you and your child’s life just might depend on it.