Parents and family members are an integral part of an LGBTQ student’s support system and may need resources and support themselves.
You Are Not Alone
Parents and family may respond differently to their child or family member coming out and to learning of their sexual and gender identity. Some parents and family members may already be well-versed and familiar with the coming out process and members or straight supporters of the LGBTQ community themselves. Other family members may be less familiar with experiences related to the coming out process and may need further education. Regardless of previous experiences, some family members may experience a degree of grief after finding out that their family member is gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and/or transgendered. Despite the degree of love and acceptance felt toward their family member, parents and others may experience loss associated with their dreams and expectations for the lives of their gay son, daughter, niece, nephew, granddaughter, grandson, brother or sister. Parents and other family members may also experience grief or anxiety relative to their expectations of society’s response to persons within the LGBTQ community. This grief or anxiety does not have to remain long-term and often varies among family members. It is important to remember that it is natural to have questions and differing emotions that may change frequently. You are not alone and there are many resources available to parents and family members of LGBTQ loved ones.