Many people have never questioned their biases toward gays and lesbians. The culture and the families they grew up in excluded  and hated people who were different from their own sexual orientation. They were disgusted by sexuality outside the norm, as if what gay people do in bed defined them. (Do heterosexuals define themselves by what they do in bed?)

These days in some places, the media and LGBT empowerment have very slowly transformed the hatred to a reluctant acceptance….just so long as it doesn’t touch home. But just how accepting will you be if your child - 14 or 40 - shocks you by declaring himself as gay to you one day?

If you love your child and want to maintain a relationship with him or her, the first thing to do is to remember this is about your child - not you. It has taken him or her a long time and a great deal of courage to share this with you, fearing rejection, shaming, or perhaps being cut off from the family. But they’ve shared this because they want to be authentic with you. They want you to love them for who they are.

As hard as the news might be, remember that's still your child. Whether they’re fourteen or forty they will always need your support. They’ve grown by being courageous enough to tell you... can you grow by learning and loving who they’ve grown into?

They want to be loved because of who they are, not in spite of it.

Maggie Vlazny

Maggie is a Certified Clinical Supervisor and Psychotherapist specializing in marriage counseling, EMDR, Imago therapy, anxiety & depression, women's issues, family therapy and grief counseling.