How Parents Can Support LGBTQ Teens?

                         How Parents Can Support LGBTQ Teens?

LGBTQ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. The term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB which began to replace the term gay in reference to the broader LGBTQ community beginning in the mid to late 1980s. These terms are used to describe a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. And now let’s have a look at all the definitions of the initials in LGBTQ in detail:

How Parents Can Support LGBTQ Teens?

  • Lesbian – Some women prefer to be called as gay or gay women and lesbian refers to a woman who endure a physical/ sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards another woman, meaning the same sex.
  • Gay – Like Already mentioned above many lesbians prefer to be called as Gay but in real terms Gay is the adjective used for people who endure physical, romantic or emotional attraction towards the people of the same sex. 
  • Bisexual – the term bisexual refers to a person who endures physical, romantic or emotional attraction towards both people of the same sex as well as of different sex.
  • Transgender – Transgender is an umbrella term used for people whose gender identity or expression that differs from what is usually associated with the sex during their time of birth.
  • Queer – Queer is an adjective used by some people whose sexual orientation is not exclusively heterosexual. Some people use the term queer or gender queer to describe their gender identity or gender orientation.
  • Questioning – Sometimes the Q at the end of the LBTQ can also be considered as  questioning meaning someone is who is questioning their sexual identity or gender identity.

LGBTQ has always been a controversial topic and not many are open to discussion about it yet, and because of the societal pressure and rejection from the society, parents often end up not supporting their children when they come out clean about their sexuality. And one should always remember that it is already hard enough for teens (Because of the fact that they are scared of rejection not only from their family but also from their friends and peers) to accept their sexual orientation and the fact that they are different from the others and being different is okay, so make sure not only my dear parents but also my dear friends to support your kids and friends whenever they accept their sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, bi, etc, because if you all won’t then no one would. 

Now how would teenagers feel when they first identify themselves as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender or simply Queer? And what are the questions that comes to their minds, let’s have a look:

  • The first question that comes to their minds are ‘I’m Gay/Lesbian. What will my parents and other family members say’?
  • Followed by, ‘What will my friends think of me’?
  • They might feel left out when their homosexual friends talk about romantic relationships, love and sex because they might not be able to have same views because of the fact that they are different. And it will be even more difficult because of the fact that they have not yet understood that being different is okay.
  • They might find it difficult to come out clean about their sexual orientation as they might fear the societal rejection along with the rejection from their family and friends. 
  • They might start being aloof in the fear that if their friends come to know, then they might not be welcomed in the fear that they would fall for one of their same sex friends.
  • They might feel left out when neither their friends nor their families want to accept them and love them for who they are.

So, before any of your friends or sons or daughters feel like this and never have the courage to come out clean to you all or if they have then make sure they don’t feel lonely, unwanted and disgusted for being different from others. So, let’s have a look at what you all can do as parents of teenagers who are a part of the LGBTQ community. 

  • As parents make sure to have your minds open and not be stereotypical, make sure to keep yourselves free from judgement so that your teens could come freely to you and tell you about their sexual orientation without any fears.
  • Be supportive parents and make sure they have friends from every gender and you all do not support gender inequality.
  • When your teens come and tell you about their sexual orientation/preferences being different from others, “Tell them, it is okay” and provide them exposure to people working and enjoying activities and life even after being outside of conventional gender norms.
  • Make sure to maintain a friendly relationship with your teens, talk to them about their romantic relationships, sexual preferences, interests & likings, bullying and teasing, so that it is easier for yours teens to share their thoughts with you all without any hesitancy. 
  • Whenever your teen discloses their sexual identity of being a Lesbian, Gay or Bi, etc to you, make sure to answer them in affirmation, listen to their views and also understand their perspective. 
  • Stand up for your child when they are bullied or mistreated, make sure that they are not made fun of about their sexual orientation or for being different.
  • Make sure that you teach your teens to stand up for themselves, as jokes based on gender and sexuality should not be taken lightly. Teach them to be proud of who they are because you can’t select about whom you will love and what your sexual orientation will be. 
  • Provide diversity to your teens in all forms, provide them with books, movies, dramas that promote LGBTQ communities and it’s events, so that they know how to enjoy life.
  • Then comes the most important part EDUCATION, make sure you and your teens are educated about LGBTQ and it’s way of life. You promote education and also get educated. 
  • Also be ware and make sure to make your teens aware of the laws against or about LGBTQ, so that they can be used in your favour whenever needed. 

Coming out clean about one’s sexual orientation is no joke, and doing that during the tender ages of teenage, it is even more difficult with not much knowledge about society but enough for one to understand the dangers, acceptances and rejections of the society, so when your teenage gathers enough courage to come out to you and tell you about their sexual preferences or orientation, make sure to support them and help overcome social anxiety that they may develop for being different from the most of their friends out there. 

And like I already told at the starting that, sexuality can’t be decided but we just love or like some if we do, and most importantly Gays, Lesbians, Bis or Transgenders are also humans like us, so we don’t have any right to treat them any different than normal human beings. 

“Our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum towards unequivocal civil equality for every gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizen of this country” – Zachary Quinto

And this very quote applies to every other nation, and every other person living in this huge global society.

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