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8 Tips To Empower an LGBTQ Kid Through Love

When I was 19 years old, in the late 90’s, I met Tom.  He was witty, charming, and cute, and we became friends quickly. One day, Tom came to my house, obviously worried. He had decided to tell his parents that he was gay and didn’t know how to approach the subject. His parents were very religious, and he felt they would never accept him.

 One day, my oldest son came home from high school with a similar concern: his best friend discovered he liked people of the same sex. My son Aidan knew his bestie’s situation was difficult, so he told me. “I don’t know what to do, Mom,” he told me. Frankly, I didn’t know what to answer either, but I decided to tell him Tom’s story about how he had gone through that situation over twenty years ago. I’d like to think that somehow I managed to help him.

In this LGBTQ Pride month, I can’t help but think about how far we still have to go on the road to inclusion. For that reason, I can’t help but think about how parents can approach this issue healthily and responsibly. That’s why I decided to write this article, hoping that it can help you if someday you have to support an LGBTQ kid or, better yet, if your son decides to tell you that he is an LGBTQ kid.

It’s not an easy topic and probably never will be, but I sincerely hope these lines can help you.

How Do I Support My LGBTQ Kid?

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Let’s be real: sometimes life can be hard, and the world can be mean. That’s why supporting an LGBTQ kid means being there for them, understanding them, and standing up beyond any challenge. It’s about creating a loving, safe, and accepting environment where they can thrive and shine. 

You can start by learning about LGBTQ identities and experiences together through books, websites, and documentaries. Make your home a safe and inclusive place where your child feels secure and valued. After all, he or she trusts in you, and it is natural that he or she wants to feel safe and loved around you. .

It’s not a simple path, and many times, you won’t know what to do. And that’s okay. It’s a normal process. If you need ideas to start this journey, maybe these tips can help. Remember: you are not alone in this.

Tips For Empowering Your LGBTQ Kid

1. Learn and Grow Together

First, I want to clarify that this is not about “educating yourself” as if you were in school. Rather, it’s about being willing to learn about the LGBT community, its history, and there’s a good reason for this: this way, you will show your child that he or she is not alone in this journey. It’s not about knowing everything but about showing interest and empathy.

Take time to read about different sexual orientations and gender identities with an open mind. You might find it helpful to join online forums or attend workshops designed for parents of LGBTQ kids. It’s a way to become a better ally and have a strong bond for open, meaningful conversations with your kiddo. After all, is all about the love you have for your baby.

2. Make Home a Safe Place

A child should always feel that his home is a safe place to be free, be their best version, and receive parents’ love at any moment, especially as important as coming out. As a mom, I firmly believe that the best way to show love to our children is not to judge them but to always support them in all decisions that make them happy.

Your home should be where your child feels completely safe and accepted, so make it clear, my beloved Mom and Dad. Encourage open conversations and listen with attention to their feelings. This helps your child feel understood and valued.

Even more important, ensure that everyone in the household respects your child’s identity and uses their preferred name and pronouns. This constant reinforcement of acceptance helps your child feel secure and loved.

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3. Keep the Conversation Open

I remember that one of the things my best friend went through when he decided to tell his parents he was gay was deep anxiety, as he didn’t know what to tell them. Of course, those were different times, but just as in the late 1990s, communication is still an important factor in talking about these issues. 

Having open, honest conversations is crucial. Ask questions and show genuine interest in your child’s life. Remember, it’s okay not to have all the answers. What’s important is that your child knows you are there to support them.

When encouraging open dialogue, be approachable and nonjudgmental. Let your child know they can talk to you about anything, whether it’s about their feelings, challenges they’re facing, or just their day-to-day experiences. This mutual openness strengthens your relationship and builds trust.

4. Stand Up for Your Child

And that means being your child’s biggest support. Whether at school, in the community, or even with family, stand up against any discrimination or prejudice your kiddo might face. Show that you are proud of who she or he is and won’t tolerate any disrespect.

Also, keep in mind that being your child support involves WAY more than speaking out against bullying or discrimination. Actually, it means ensuring your kiddo can access supportive resources like LGBTQ-friendly counselors or groups. Work with their school to create a safe and inclusive environment and, more importantly, teach your child how to stand up alone and boost their confidence. Knowing you have their back reinforces their self-esteem and sense of security.

5. Celebrate Who They Are

Show your pride in your child’s identity. Celebrate their milestones and achievements. This validation can boost their confidence and happiness. Throw a small party, acknowledge their successes, or simply tell them how proud you are of them.

Celebrating your child means recognizing and affirming their identity in everyday life. Highlight LGBTQ holidays and events, like Pride Month, and participate together. Acknowledge their milestones, whether coming out, choosing a new name, or achieving something important to them. These celebrations reinforce your support and help your child feel valued and loved for who they are.

6. Embrace Their Self-Expression

Allow your child to express themselves freely. Support their choices in clothing, hobbies, and interests. This freedom to be themselves strengthens their bond and helps them feel secure in their identity. Share stories about how embracing their self-expression has made a positive impact.

Encouraging self-expression involves being open-minded and supportive of your kiddo’s choices, even if they differ from your expectations. Whether your child is trying a new hairstyle, picking out clothes that reflect their gender identity, or pursuing interests that align with their true self, your support means the WHOLE world. Share positive stories of other LGBTQ persons who have thrived by being themselves to inspire and reassure your child.

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7. Build Their Resilience

In this journey is pretty important you can help your child develop coping mechanisms for dealing with discrimination or prejudice. Focus on teaching them to build self-esteem and confidence by encouraging activities that make them feel strong and capable. You can also share tips on fostering resilience and emotional strength.

Building resilience involves teaching your child how to surf challenges and setbacks. Encourage them to engage in activities that boost their confidence, such as sports, arts, or volunteering. Also, teach them about strategies for handling negative comments or situations, like seeking support from friends or mentors. Remind them of their strengths and achievements to help them stay positive and focused on their goals.

8. Show Unconditional Love

Above all, show your child unconditional love and support. Unconditional love means loving your child without conditions or expectations. Tell them often how much you love them and how proud you are of their courage and authenticity. Share stories of other families who have thrived by embracing their LGBTQ children. Your unwavering support and acceptance provide the foundation for your child’s emotional well-being and happiness.

Conclusion

Providing support for children has always been one of the most challenging parts of parenting, regardless of the environment in which they find themselves. But without a doubt, when it comes to the moment when they define their sexual orientation or gender awareness, it is certainly a more complex process.

That is why your support and unconditional love, my dear mom and dad, are so important in this part of their lives. Be there for them, celebrate who they are, and keep the conversation open. It’s a journey you’ll take together and grow closer because of it.

Don’t stress about getting everything perfect. Just show your kid that you’re in their corner, no matter what. Small steps, a little learning here and there, and a lot of love will go a long way. And remember, you’re not alone in this. There are many parents and resources out there to help.

 

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