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coming out advice

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Maybe you are someone who has always suspected that your child is queer. For the purposes of this article, we’ll use the term queer, as it is an umbrella term for anyone who is not heterosexual or cisgender. And while it was once, sadly, a slur against that group, that very same group reclaimed the term starting in the 1980s, and by the early 2000s, it became the accepted way to address anyone who doesn’t conform to normative sexual or gender identities. Now that that has been covered, let’s back to your child being queer.

Perhaps you always knew. Perhaps you never thought about it, but knew you’d have no strong reaction either way and just want your kid to be happy. Perhaps you are someone who, though you believe you are progressive and woke, must admit that you would be worried to learn that your own child was part of the LGBTQIA community. There’s nothing wrong with having those feelings. But what you feel and what you express are very different, and it is important to handling the coming-out talk appropriately. Here is what to do (and not do) if your child comes out to you.


Don’t underreact

You might try to make your child comfortable by underreacting. You want them to know this is so not a big deal, and that nothing has to change, so you may completely underreact. You may keep doing what you’re doing (folding laundry?) and say, “That’s cool. Could you hand me those socks?”

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