The fact that you’re here shows that you are not a bad parent. A truly bad parent is one that disowns their child for being gay. But you still love them enough to seek answers. And those answers I’ll give!
But first, three important points:
You have NOT failed as a parent. You’ve raised your child up with all the right values. That is success to me.
You have no influence over their sexual orientation. If you did, I’d have to call the cops!
And you’re also not the only parent to go through this. I’ve had to come out to my parents, along with around 10% of the world’s population.
However, you can be a bad parent if you don’t treat them right. So, to help you out, I’ve written up some important points for you…
Make sure they know you don’t mind it
Whether they’ve opened up to you or you’re simply waiting for that moment, it’s important to show them that being gay is not a problem. And that’s the truth!
Sexuality is comparable to preferring certain foods. You wouldn’t actively eat tomato if you didn’t like it, would you? Just like I wouldn’t actively eat a vagina. I would if someone had a gun to my head, of course; but I still wouldn’t like it.
Which means that sexuality is definitely not a choice. If it were, more men would be having sex with each other. And that’s simply because men are easier to bed. As with lesbians, you don’t have to tell me that women would prefer to date their own kind.
Alas, because of the sheer need for procreation, most of us prefer to sleep with the opposite sex. And yet, to possibly curb population growth, some of us are gay. So why worry if your child is?
And please don’t quote the bible. I think God would be way more worried about murderers than two guys having a consensual romp.
Make sure you teach them about sexual health
I know, I know… You’ve already given the birds and the bees talk. And that’s wonderful! Great parenting on your part! But you may need to share some new information now that your child bats for the other team. This is especially true for the men than the women.
If you’ve done the birds and the bees, surely you’ve spoken of condom use. For your gay son, tell them to use it every time they top or bottom. And tell them to be generous with the lube! For your lesbian daughter, tell them to change the condom whenever they’re sharing any penetrative toy. A nurse wouldn’t use the same gloves on a new patient…
When it comes to oral sex, the risk is low, but it’s always good to check over anything you put in your mouth. This is also a good time to reiterate that saying “no” is okay.
And finally, make sure they remain aware of new developments in sexual health, and that (especially for the boys) getting tested regularly is vitally important.
Make sure you give them space to explore themselves
Once you’ve given them the new version of the birds and the bees, be sure to give them space. Don’t go cramping their style. It’s bad parenting. You’ve warned your child of all the dangers, and that’s all you can do, really. They’ve got to make their mistakes to grow and learn, like anything else in life.
And also, not giving them space could lead to a rupture in your parent-child relationship. You’ve got to trust that they are doing the right thing. The only time you should ever get involved is if they do the wrong thing.
Make sure you show them support
Coming to terms with your homosexuality in such a world as this is not an overnight sensation. It takes time. Lots of time. There will inevitably be a period where your child will try the opposite sex. There will be phases when they try to fake being straight. And there will be plenty of doubts. Your job as a parent is to simply show them support through this difficult journey.
Now, I’m not saying you should drape a rainbow flag over your front door. That’s just overdoing it. It would be nice, but it’s not necessary.
Instead, show them little bits of support. This could be watching a gay romance movie with them, but it’s mostly in the way you talk and react to things. If they are not fully open about their sexuality, learn to respect that. Follow up with them from time to time. And if they are proud of who they are, be proud too.
The most important thing here is making sure they know you support them.
And don’t treat them any differently
Finally, you don’t have to change the way you are with them. They’re gay. It’s just something they do in the comfort of their bedroom (or someone else’s). They’re still the same person you grew up with.
And that’s because sexuality is based on sexual appetites, which has nothing to do with personality traits. If they loved cars before they came out, they’re still going to like them now. Nothing has really changed.
Of course, I must warn that with current trends, some youth are getting into different pronouns and going against the human construct of gender. Because yes, gender norms are human constructs. Clothing, makeup, hairdos and shoes have been promoted differently to each sex for no other reason than because it sounded good at the time. There’s no bonafide reason why a man cannot wear a dress. The Scots have been doing it for centuries! And heels? They were first invented for butchers so they didn’t get bloodied feet.
In other words, respect your child’s wishes if they want to be referred to in a different way.
I mean, even names are a human construct.
Feature image: Steve Johnson on Unsplash