Most parents wish to do the best for their kids, make excellent choices for them in the aspects of education, health, friends, profession and life partners, and many more. In short, most parents desire their kid to be successful in his/her life…
But… do they credit their kids’ hidden personalities? Maybe many ‘good’ parents miss out on this, and as a result, their kids get distanced from them. One of those is kids ‘sex identities’, and it can leave parents unaccomplished when they don’t know them. In this article, we will discuss tips on handling a lesbian child.
How did you know your daughter is a lesbian?
There must be different answers to this question. Some of them can be like my kid come out to me; I came to know about this by checking her messages or through her behavior and choices in daily life or saw her lonely and full of anxiety. The answer can be many, but the solution is the same.
Home should be a safe place for parents and kids. Parents are the major people to create this safe environment, not kids. Parents must make sure that there is a road of communication between kids and themselves. The road should be free of breakers and no wear and tear symptoms. It should be smooth and have everlasting safety and trust. Only this is the key that let the child drive on this road between parents and him/her.
When kids are in any kind of trouble, parents always rush to help them and try to resolve the situation. But if the same kid is fighting with their inner self and tries to explore him/herself, then how can parent leave their kid in such a situation where they need none other than their parents. Without listening to their thoughts, parents and families start judging them and show a negative response. And this may cause serious, irreversible results. The good part is that many parents understand and support their kids as being homosexual. But still, some fewer people report themselves to be homosexual confidently.
A survey done by the Office of National Statistics United Kingdom in 2018 shows a bitter reality that approximately two percent of people aged between 25 and 34 identified themselves as being homosexual, compared with just 0.4 percent of people aged over 65.
Parents reactions when daughters come out of the closet
After knowing that the child is Lesbian through any source now, it’s time for parents to think about how they are going to react. In any of the cases, whether your daughter comes out to you or you find it out, just think that your daughter is also a human with equal rights and can choose what is good for her or what she likes. Follow the steps given below and feel normal.
Tips for raising a healthy and happy Lesbian Child
Breath and pause
When mothers go for groceries they think a day before and make a list before buying from the supermarket then how could parents start judging before listening to their kids. The very first step suggested is to take deep breaths and pause your words to create the power of listening. If you discovered she comes out to you, then you have plenty of time to think over how you are going to react and what to ask. Meanwhile share it with your partner and also take help from other parents like you because I believe there are many parents like you and you are not the only parent having a lesbian kid. Do not think negatively and do not blame yourself. Some parents blame their parenting style that there must be any problem in their style of bringing up their kids. No, not at all, that’s not true. Some kids are born special and they discover it at any point in their lives so just relax, breathe and pause because even your kid can have a successful and bright future just like other kids.
Stay connected to your child and love her
This is a crucial time for you and your kid. The parent-child relationship is at a point where a win-or-lose situation arises. Create the bond between you and your kid through love, affection, and care, and this will ultimately build trust in your relationship. If you will love your child unconditionally, she will trust you blindly. Stay close to your child when you discover her situation or she came out to you and listen to her story without judging her. If you will not show love and care at this point, then do not expect love and care from the child in the future. Thank your child for sharing her emotions when she comes out to you and gives your child a chance to breathe. There will be plenty of time later for advice but if you miss the opportunity to fulfill the built trust and love at the start, then you will miss the opportunity to offer any advice in the long term.
Negative parenting and judging style sometimes lead to severe mental health issues and suicidal attempts by children. Show that it is normal because she is not the only one on the planet with such feelings. She has a community like her.
- Listen to her with no judgments
- The emotions created in her cannot be abrupt and sudden. This feeling must have started long ago, but she kept it secret because she was scared to share. She would have thought about her parent’s reaction. After so many struggles and ups and downs in her life, now if she dares to share her feelings with her close ones called parents, then it’s important for them to listen to her. Let her talk and take out all that frustration she kept hidden under her smiles and on sleepless nights. Let her say everything she wants to say. Just listen without interruption and pieces of advice. Let her know that you want to know how it started and show you seek to understand her. Tell her you to want to know that journey she had done alone until now. Only then she will be able to step forward in her life to be successful academically, professionally, emotionally, and socially. And that’s what you want in her life.
- Educate yourself
- The new chapter of learning for your child begins here. Start reading books and articles with real-life examples from point of view from parents and kids both. If you are going to educate yourself from a parent’s point of view, then you will not be able to handle the case. So it is necessary to understand other such cases from both ways. Watch the interviews of homosexuals and their parents, which will enable you to understand it is normal and no need to react negatively. Know your country’s law to know what your constitution tells about it. Last but not least, if you belong to a spiritual or religious community then, find a supportive congregation that welcomes your family and lesbian child.
- Take care of your emotions
You are a beautiful part of your kid’s life. Be patient and learn to control your emotions because you’re not alone in the crowd. There are plenty of other similar stories like yours, so suppressing your emotion can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. Be open and discuss with your partner and get help from other parents. This is a long way to go, so journey together and learn together. Meet a therapist for yourself because it will improve your communication skills and will help you develop coping strategies to manage distress. Do not miss out on Yoga or morning exercise to keep your brain and body healthy and active.
1.Advocate your child
Once you accept the emotions of your daughter, then it’s time to be confident and advocate for your child. It is required that other family members treat your child with respect. Make sure your child is treated normal and respected by school/college staff, teachers, and fellows. Speak up for your child’s rights and also seek help from support groups. A child’s mental health cannot be ignored. If she is going through stress and trauma, then consult a therapist and also connect your child with LGBT resources. Many organizations support emotionally and financially through funding, different activities, and events. Encourage your child to engage in sports, and that’s the best way to stay healthy physically and mentally as well.
2.Create a friendly environment
Support your child even if you feel uncomfortable. It’s not even easy for her to live in societies where homosexuals are considered as mental issues. So she starts coping from home and ends at the outside world. Invite her friends and her partner to family events to show you are open and support her. Support your child’s gender expression in the form of relevant books, access to media, haircuts, and clothing. If you will not be open to the world and do not support your child, then others get the license to bully and harass her anywhere they want.
Fear of rejection in a Lesbian/homosexual child
Rejection is a negative and worse thing considered in human nature. The human being cannot tolerate being rejected for the desired thing. But when rejected by close ones like family and friends can be dangerous and end in severe outcomes.
Linda Garnet and Douglas C. Kimmel tell about the emotional reactions of parents after their child comes out to them in their book “Psychological perspective on Lesbian, Gay, and bisexual experience.” They say “Once parents become aware of their child’s non-heterosexual orientation, they often react with emotion and action that cause considerable fear among the youth.”
Some real-life results have been observed after rejection, and Sir Isaac Newton’s third law suggests “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So it is to keep in mind that if you want to reject your child, then do not expect any good result. The outcomes may be in the form of mental health issues, homelessness of your child, stress trauma and depression, and at the very last stage of suicidal attempts.
American Academy of Pediatrics in their article “Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Facts for Teens and their Parents” says that “Rejecting your child also is not a good response. It may have been very difficult for your child to come to terms with her or his sexuality. But it could be devastating if you reject her or him at the same time. Your child needs you very much!”
S.L Craig and other authors in their article, “Media: A Catalyst for Resilience in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth” have mentioned that LGBTQ youth are seeking resilience and want to grow healthy. Their emotional and social support is enhancing due to influence of media. Their self-esteem and sense of power are increasing because media has acted as a positive catalyst. 
We always talk about parenting but ignore the word positive about it. Positivity in parenting makes the children more confident, more successful, and happy in life. Positive parenting focuses not only on WHAT but also guides WHY along. So making children creative, explorers, problem solvers, and innovators parents should follow the tips provided above. These tips are going to uncover the spells of unseen powers of positive parenting. They can discipline the children without being physical, which helps them to understand the situation better. It also helps them to realize what is wrong and what is right. This method of teaching allows them to think over the solutions and outcomes. Parents should be patient with their children and talk to them about their problems.
Avoid Corporal punishment and verbal abuse
All humans are equal, whether young or old, so parents should treat their kids the way they want to be treated by others. For that of course nobody wants to be punished physically or abused verbally. Corporal punishments may leave a mark on their body but with time it may be covered forever, but verbal abuse gives such a mark on their brains that can never be erased. Verbal abuses include doubts about children or taunting. This abuse creates self-doubts in the children about themselves and does not let them be successful in their lives. These doubts and taunts will always pull them back from the opportunities because they do not believe in themselves, and they also think that their parents who are the first school for them have declared doubts in her. Verbal abuse also causes children to feel afraid, less confident, affects emotions, and also leads to health problems
Advice for parents having a Lesbian child
Steve Petro, the columnist in Washingtonpost.com refers to Lee Airton, the author of “Gender: Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer On What to Know, What to Say, and What to Do in the New Gender Culture,” in his column “Advice to parents on raising a happy and healthy LGBTQ child”. He says Lee Airton tells parents that children’s play with gender is normal and healthy: “It’s very important to let your child know with your words and demeanor that you are grateful for their trust.”
Don’t put your children at risk by rejecting, taunting, and abusing them. Accepting your child can be a key to open doors for a new life with good health and happiness. The choice is yours whether you want to lock healthy and prosperous life doors on your child or let them dive into it.
The unseen powers of Mothers
The moment when a woman knows that she is pregnant is the best feeling in her whole life. Mother’s love is eternal and cannot be compared. She keeps her child in her womb as her part and creates a connection naturally. Mother is the first person who is familiar with when the child hears her for the first time. This connection is everlasting and the mother can feel happiness and pain in a child, even if unsaid or unseen. Mothers have the unseen power to know their child, and they must use this power when their daughter needs her in difficult times.
Dad being daughter’s first love
Dad’s love is selfless, merciful, sacrificial, persistent, kind, truthful, and realistic. It is endless and static. Dads are called to be the first love of their daughters. There is magic when dad talks and treats his daughter and can be felt when daughters smile at them. This love and bonding should never be ended just because of gender expression. Even if dads do not accept her gender identity when she comes out to him at the start, but will call her later and will say I am sorry for being negative. It is required to understand this situation that as dads know no matter what there is a soft corner in their hearts for the daughters, then why he should create all that frustrating time until the sorry call. It’s better to think now and do not let the situation be worse. Daughters feel secure; both physically and emotionally when spend time with their fathers. Dad’s love is always unconditional, and that’s the reason why daughters call you their first love.
Resources for parents
Parents are advised to connect their children to societies and support groups or organizations for their healthy and active life. Parents will also get to know about their child well through meeting and knowing similar stories. American Academy of Pediatrics has shared some resources which are considered being useful for parents.
- The Hetrick-Martin Institute
- Lambda Youth OUTreach
- National Youth Advocacy Coalition
- Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
- Youth Guardian Services
- Youth Resource A Project of Advocates for Youth
Plus, here are some useful books for parents on Amazon that will help them to relate with their Lesbian kids better:
Even in developed countries like the USA and the UK, there is still a need to emphasize gender expression freedom in families. Although the governments have done their part, many parents still need to be aware of the situation of their children. They need to understand that being a homosexual personality is never a mental disorder. Parents should not show negative reactions when their kids come out to them. Instead, they should exhibit positive parenting attitudes by listening without quick judgments or scolding. As humans, we all have equal rights regardless of where we belong: homosexuals or heterosexuals.
Garnet, Linda et al. Psychological perspective on Lesbian, Gay and bisexual experience. Columbia University Press, 2003. ↑
S.L, Craig et al. “Media: A Catalyst for Resilience in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and QueerYouth.” ↑
Petrow, Steve.” Advice to parents on raising a happy and healthy LGBTQ child.” ↑
AcademyPediatrics, American. “Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Facts for Teens and Their Parents.”↑