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Friday, 12 October 2018

How To Deal With Your Child Coming Out As Gay

So, your child has managed to muster the strength to tell you that they're LGBTQ+ and your mind is suddenly blown and you're not sure how the hell to react? Then read on... 

Firstly - you may we wondering what on earth LGBTQ+ stands for. Your child may have just told you that they're gay' or 'queer' so this now means that they fall into the LGBTQ+ community (we're fabulous and lovely by the way). So what does this mean? LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning (depending on the definition) and the + is there to encompass further sexualities and gender identities. But I think we'll leave it there for now before we start to really overwhelm you. 
So why do you think you're reacting so badly? We're a married lesbian couple and both our mums reacted very negatively to us coming out and it took them a long time to come around and accept it. Thankfully they now fully embrace us and our wives as if it's like their own daughter. Also, it may be important to note that while your reaction could be a big blur for you, your child most likely remembers every. single. word and remark that you have made. It appears to be quite common that parents completely blocking and forget how they reacted, as they couldn't imagine they would have ever done that. Please be aware of what you say and do, as it can have a lasting impact. 
Your child hasn't suddenly changed and become a new person. They are still the exact same person. They will be living more happy and free, and that can never be a bad thing. They may suddenly find a new community and attending things such as Pride events, but this doesn't change who they are to you. Some LGBTQ+ people may change the way they look, this can be a phase or it can be their new identity i.e. a lot of girls often cut their hair or change their clothes as they feel they have to fit a certain stereotype's. Sometimes they realise that this isn't right for them and others find who they are. What they wear or how they have their hair still doesn't change their they're your daughter and/or son and love you. They just want you to love them back. 
We thought it would be important for you to hear from some mum's of children who have come out as LGBTQ+ and what they had been to / what advice they could give. 
Advice From Mothers':


Megan's Mother:

"I struggled because I thought that the fairytale life Megan was going to live had suddenly vanished, her getting married and having kids. I looked it up as to why I was feeling this way and found in books that I was going through a period of mourning. I thought you had chosen the harder route through life, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Instead of marrying Prince Charming she married a beautiful Princess. I can't wait for them to have children! I'm ashamed of the way I reacted. All a child ever wants is to feel love and supported! You have to also remember that as a parent, you have to come out to friends, family and colleagues as having a gay daughter. I used to struggle with this and it's a process that you work through but now I proudly say you have a wife, instead of introducing your partner as your friend!" - Jill.

Whitney's Mother:

"I'd recommend going to therapy. This really helped me. I attended therapy along with Whitney's Dad and Whitney to discuss it all and come to terms with it.  I'm a better person now because I never thought that I was judgemental! I realise now that all she ever wanted was for someone to accept her, to say I love you for who you are and become all that you can.  That's all any parent ever wants for their child. Now my daughter has the most perfect marriage and I've gained another daughter (and a family!)" - Kelly.

Shannon Beveridge's Mother:

"I wish they could understand that everything about their child is the same, they just have an attraction that may not be what their parent expected. In most cases their parent is their foundation. If their own parent can't love and support them, it leaves them feeling crushed. Every parent should love their child unconditionally." - Debbie
Watch Shannon's inspiring YouTube channel here.
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If you take anything away from this, just know that all your child wants is to be loved, supported and accepted. You don't have to fully understand it yet but they're going through a tough time, and the last thing they need is not to have their  parents love them as they always have. They're going to live a happy and fulfilled life, you just wait and see!
Watch our video with LADBible discussing coming out with our mums on instagram or Facebook

Want to see a happily ever after? Then watch our wedding video below:

Extra resources and support:
FFLAG (Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays)
The Proud Trust
Advice for coming out as LGBTQ+. 
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