As a parent, you may have understandable questions or concerns if you think that your child might be lesbian, gay, bi or trans. We've tried to answer some of the commons ones below;
I think that my child might be lesbian, gay, bi or trans. How can I be sure?
Until your child comes and tells you that they are, or might be lesbian, gay, bi or trans you can’t know. Try not to make assumptions and let them come and tell you in their own time. Create a positive environment where your child feels able to talk to you about their sexual orientation or gender identity, for example, say positive things about LGBT people when they’re on TV and don’t allow people to say negative things under your roof.
But I don’t agree with it.
The truth is, if you’ve got a problem with the idea of your child being lesbian, gay, bi or trans you’re going to have to live with it and accept it. The best thing you can do is to put your feelings to one side and remember that, regardless of your child's sexuality or gender identity, you love them and want them to be happy. As for other family members if they don’t react well initially, put some rules in place and establish what can and can’t be said in front of your child.
Talking about it is a good thing
One thing you can do is give them the information they need to make good decisions. LGBT young people often lack access to information about their rights, where to access support, sex and staying safe so, even if you feel like you can’t talk about it personally, you should at least be able to point them in the direction of the information they need. You can contact Stonewall's Information Service for pointers.
Won’t being LGBT make their life harder for them?
One of the hardest things for LGBT people to face is rejection from their friends and family. New laws have made our country fairer and more equal. Gay, lesbian and bi people can now get married and have children, and there is legislation to protect LGBT people in the workplace. There are more LGBT role models in the arts, politics and sport and those people who have a problem with LGBT people are an increasingly small minority. In modern Britain, LGB young people can grow up, live happy lives and fall in love with people just like anyone else.
Support when you think your child might be lesbian, gay or bisexual
While YouGov polling shows that 81 per cent of people in Britain would be comfortable if their child was LGB, Stonewall's guide 'So you think you child is gay?' answers some of the most frequent questions asked by parents about sexual orientation.
Support when you think your child might be trans
Gendered Intelligence work with the trans community, and those who impact on trans lives. They specialise in supporting young trans people aged 8-25. They have produced a guide with trans young people and their parents. It discusses various issues and concerns that parents and family members of trans people have and includes useful information, stories and quotes.
Need some more support?
You can find LGBT-friendly solicitors and other useful contacts through Stonewall's online database What's In My Area.
For further information contact Stonewall's Information Service.