Here is Aly’s story about coming out to her friends and family. Thank you for sharing Aly.
“My name is Aly and I came out when I was 16 years old. The moment I discovered that I was a lesbian I immediately called my best friend and told her how I was feeling. We had been best friends for years and talked about everything together so telling her I had these feelings was no big deal. She was very supportive and helped me accept this new part of myself that I had just learned about.
She helped me come to terms with what I was feeling and encouraged me to research more about homosexuality to see if more information would help. After I came out to her and two other very close friends, and had done some research, I decided that the feelings I was having were real and that I should tell my mom.
We were close and she had always been an ally to the LGBT+ community so I figured it would be no problem telling her I was a lesbian. When I told her it shocked her and she had a hard time understanding.
We sat down and through some long, hard conversations and questions she had asked, she was able to accept me for who I am.
Now at 18 I am an openly lesbian woman and owe it all to the support I had coming out and the strength my friends and family gave me.
My tips to a parent having their kid come out to them is just be there and research. I know it might be hard to understand at first but after you hear your child out and have time to reflect you’ll come to realize that all they are and all they will ever be is your child”.
What a powerful story. It’s sounds like she had a great supportive network that made her feel safe to come out and be who she is. These words are so important for parents to hear as we help, support and guide our children through their teen years.
How can parents be supportive? It starts in our own homes. We need to create a welcoming environment, let your kids know you are accepting of the LGBTQ community. This will help your child be open with you.
Teens have shared with us what they need from you as parents when they come out.
- Be there to support them.
- Reassure them that this will not change your view of them.
- Reassure them that you still love, care and accept them.
- They still need you to be their parent.
- In the heat of the moment, don’t yell or talk down to them.
- Do not reject them.
Even if the parent isn’t happy with their child’s sexual/gender preference being accepting and supportive is key (LGBTQ teen)
It’s so important to be understanding and supportive, not only for your own children but for all kids in your community. We are all families; your kids will always be yours.
Keep the conversation going… Share your stories with us.