For many LGBTQ people,the coming out process is a very, very difficult one.As difficult it is for them, it can be difficult for their near and dear ones to accept the change. Here are a few tips that can help you if any of your loved ones have come out.
- Allow yourself a patient time to adjust to the news
- Acknowledge that everyone will react to the news differently.There may be several feelings and emotions, including shock, denial, anger, disappointment, guilt, shame, etc
- This somewhere also feels like a loss of their dreams. You may have had for your loved one.The way you predicted their future, it might not look like the same now.
- Our values, morals, religious backgrounds, culture etc all impacts our perceptions and views.This may also impact the way we react after hearing the news.
- Once you feel accepting towards the news, make sure that you educate yourself about LGBTQ topics through books or Internet resources.
- Seek consent and ask the questions which come into your mind from your loved one
- Acknowledge that there was nothing done that can be blamed, neither a person or a situation is responsible for this.
- Make sure that you don’t hurt your loved one by suggesting therapy like reparative therapy.
- Explore your personal stereotypes and stigmas in your mind related to the issues. Or if you have any kind of homophobia.
- Acknowledge that the person your loved one has not changed, just that a true part of their identity has been revealed to you.
- Surely know that you are not alone in this.Everyone in four families has an immediate family member who is from the LGBTQ community.
- If you feel you are unable to cope up with the news, find a friend, family member, or a mental health professional to share your feelings with.
- Getting in touch with the support group organisation or an advocacy group might also help.
- Always My Child: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered or Questioning Son or Daughter by Kevin Jennings and Pat Shapiro
- Now That You Know: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children by Betty Fairchild and Nancy Hayward
- Coming Out to Parents: A Two-way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay men and their Parents by Mary V. Borhek
- Loving Someone Gay by Don Clark
- Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is by Abigail Garner
- The Other Side of the Closet: The Coming-Out Crisis for Straight Spouses and Families by Amity Pierce Buxton
- Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu
True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism–For Families, Friends, Coworkers, and Helping Professionals by Mildred L. Brown and Chloe Ann Rounsley