Parents have, for years, dreamed up their children’s futures.
Johnny’s going to be a doctor when he gets older.
Susie’s going to marry a lawyer.
Okay, so these examples are way dated, but you get my point. Parents half-joke about who their children are going to marry and what they’re going to be “when they grow up” all the time. And while it’s all done in good humor, and while most — if not all — parents would say they always and only have their child’s best interests in mind, when was the last time you heard a friend say that maybe Johnny would marry George when he’s older … ?
Acceptance of who our children are begins with our language, and it continues with our actions. And it’s never too early to start thinking about how to love and support your child, even — and especially — if that child is gay and no one even knows it yet. Rejection from family is one of the greatest heartbreaks the gay community faces. I know I’m lucky to have such an incredible and accepting family right from my coming out, and before! But not all people are so blessed. My wife has struggled — and continues to struggle — with members of her family, including her parents, because she is gay. It is her biggest and greatest source of pain. It’s also a total shame because my wife is one of the most big-hearted and loving people on the planet.
The truth of the matter is that any child might be gay, and there isn’t a single thing in the world that can be done to change that. But more important, no one should ever try to change that. Perhaps you’re pregnant now and thinking of all the ways you’ll love your child. Maybe you’re a new mom and you’re overjoyed by the love you have for your Little One. Maybe you’re the mom of an older kid and you’re amazed by the person she’s turning into. Have you ever considered that your child just might be gay? Possibly not. Know that being gay in today’s world is slightly safer than it has been in years past, but it’s not without its challenges. Your child — the one you’re carrying inside of you right now, or feeding his first solid food to, or watching her take the bus to kindergarten — just might be gay. What are you doing today to let your kid know that you love her or him no matter what?
It really is the little things that make a world of difference. That’s why I was to grateful to Amelia over at the Huffington Post for writing a piece entitled: “10 Ways To Support Your Gay Kid, Whether You Know You Have One Or Not.” Her article is so spot-on. She offers simple advice on how to show your kid that being gay is okay. Be sure to check it out!
Here, I’ve included 3 of Amelia’s tips and added some of my own from personal experience. These simple and loving tips to support your gay child — or future gay child — in your life will foster feelings of acceptance and safety, and will eventually allow your child to openly come to you as he is.
Read more of Aela’s writing at Two Moms Make a Right
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