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It is understandable that you would have many questions regarding what to do next if you suspected or recently found out that your child was gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer.  The first thing to remember is that your child is exactly the same person that they were moments before you discovered this truth about them.  If you loved them then, you should continue to love them now.  Suicide rates among LGBTQ* youth are significantly higher than non-LGBTQ youth.  Your love and support can make a life or death difference to your child.

If this news disrupts your understanding of your child or is incongruent with your value system, you may have more questions than answers.  Find someone who you trust, who also knows how much you love your child, and begin to explore what this might mean for your family.  In some cases it may not be an adjustment for the family but rather a concern about potential future difficulties the LGBTQ youth may face.  In any situation, regardless of your level of acceptance, finding supportive friends and family for yourself as well as your child is an important step towards healthy sexual development.

It is crucial that you do not try to “fix” or “change” your child.  The first thing they need to know is that you still see them as who they are, and they are not broken.  They haven’t changed; your understanding of them has.  Seeking out professional help, either from a therapist, educator, or spiritual leader, may be beneficial for you if you are left feeling uncertain about how to reconcile the feelings that you have about your child’s sexual identity or orientation.  Sexuality professionals can help you answer questions objectively and help you to learn about the needs your child may have as well as increase your understanding of their sexual identity.

*Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer