Supporting Our LGBT Adolescents
By Wanda Bee
“Coming out” can be scary and painful, and parents need to reassure
their children that they will not be loved any less for sharing the truth
about themselves. If your teen tells you he is lesbian, gay, bi-sexual,
transgender (et al) let them know that you love them unconditionally, and
accept them no matter what.
Show your teen that you care by learning more about sexual identity.
Read books on the subject or check out reputable Web sites (such as
www.pflag.org). Talk to some adults you know who are part and parcel
of the LGBTI community. Look for organizations or support groups in
your community that can give you information on all issues concerning
the LGBTI youths. It will be easier for you to support your teen when you
know more and are comfortable with the subject.
Parents may worry about how friends, neighbors and family will react to
their teen’s sexual identity. It is usually best not to share any information
without your teen-ager’s permission. Unfortunately, prejudice against the
LGBT teen is widespread, mostly due to ignorance and fear. When your
teen is ready for you to let others know, you should talk with them about
your teen’s sexual orientation and help them to understand, by using
what you have learned. (P-Flag Organization & Aetna InteliHeath).
Knowledge and sensitivity to the LGBT adolescents’ journey in a world
that is often plagued with fear, hate and bigotry will hopefully decrease
the bias crimes that are far too rampant committed against these precious