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How parents can be prepared for a potential queer kid

I’ve heard parents talk about their kids coming out, how they reacted to their kids, and how people should react to a child coming out to them. I’ll talk more about how parents can handle the coming-out conversation itself in a future blog post. Today, I want to talk about what parents can do long before their kid comes out to them. If parents suspect their child may be queer or want to make sure they’re ready in case their child comes out, there are great steps to take long before any inklings of queerness.

1. Develop curiosity about the LGBTQIA+ community.

Parents can react negatively to coming out experiences when they hold negative beliefs

toward the LGBTQIA+ community. This may look like believing being LGBTQIA+ is a choice,

finding certain identities annoying, dangerous, or gross, and believing that certain sexual

orientations and gender identities don’t exist.

A great place to start is to ask yourself what each letter of LGBTQIA+ means. Once

you’ve got that down, try to name a friend or celebrity who identifies with each letter.

Then, ask yourself what the plus means in LGBTQIA+. Notice what makes you

uncomfortable and ask yourself why.

2. Intentionally include and welcome LGBTQIA+ people and media.

This can look like inviting your gay friend and his husband over to dinner. It could mean

watching a movie as a family and speaking highly of the queer characters. If it feels

unnecessary or inappropriate for your kids to witness LGBTQIA+ couples or characters, ask

yourself why.

3. Ask your kid about the LGBTQIA+ community.

It could be enlightening and create a healthy future environment for coming out to ask

kids what they’ve heard about the LGBTQIA+ community and what they themselves think.

This may give parents some insight into why coming out is so terrifying based on their kids’

answers. It also is a great opportunity for parents to share what they’ve been learning about

the LGBTQIA+ community. I’d keep the goal on curiosity, about the queer community as

well as emotions attached for the parents and kids alike.

Jacob Lundy is a Mental Health Student Intern at Cypress Wellness Center. He began pursuing a Bachelor in Psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and deeply fell in love with therapy when he finally went to therapy himself in his senior year. He has ten years of teaching experience including music, special education, and ESL. He also has three years of experience working as a personal service worker, showing comfort to autistic individuals. He's now pursuing a Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adams State University. To request an appointment, click "Schedule Now" at the top of the page or contact us for further assistance and to send questions.

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