• What do I do if my child/friend/family member comes out to me?

    First off, You're in the right place if someone you love has come out and you're now on the long journey to find out more information. You may be feeling like your head is spinning with questions and different emotions. For some families this may bring up conflicts with culture, religion and varying community opinions which adds to the confusion and frustration. Again, the fact that you're reading this means that you want to love and protect and discover more about what this all means and you should be proud of yourself.

    ~First off, we recommend attending a PFLAG meeting. Family and friends of the LGBTQIA community looking for answers and support just like you. Check out the calendar for upcoming meetings: www.pflagaustin.org
     
    There are weekly North Austin Meetings in Round Rock and Cedar Park and South Austin Meetings near Riverside and I-35
     
    We also provide the below information even though this event has already occurred but in case you might have made a mistake or two in your reaction, you may try to correct them from here on.
     
    HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILD/Friend/Family Member…
    People often find it difficult to come out to their parents and friends. LGBTQIA Youth often spend months, if not years, discovering and deciphering their identities. Sharing with their parents and friends can be difficult. Parents often are in shock or grieve after a child’s revelation. It is important to remember that for your child to keep their sexuality secret would be to keep a large part of them from you—telling you is a sign of their love and need for your suppo
    rt and understanding.
     
    • When your child comes out to you, start with a statement of support instead of judgment.

     

    • You may feel shock, denial, guilt or grief; they are understandable given our society’s attitudes towards LGBTQIA people—process your emotions and realize your loved one is coming to you for your love even though you will have many emotions distracting yourself.

     

    • Do not confide in family or friends without your child’s consent and make sure you have time to process your emotions so that you don’t communicate immediate negative or angry emotions to your loved one when they have taken a risk to tell you.
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    • Continue to seek information about questions that you have confidentially, without telling others what your loved one has told you in confidence.
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