Is my child gay? When you look at your child and certain behaviors you might find that you ask yourself if they have a preference that is different from the hetero norms. It can help to look at some of these things to find ways to support/encourage your child. That said, any answers you find here are not meant for you to force your kids to tell you their preferences. Instead, let them know they are safe with you for any conversations, and let them come to you when they are ready.
How do I know if my child is gay?
This post is not meant as a way for you to out your children or make them feel less than because of their sexual preferences. If that’s your goal, click away. This blog will always be a safe place for LGBTQ+ children and their parents.
Why are you really asking?
Before you start to look at whether your child is gay, bi, trans, or anything else, it’s important to look at why. When you are trying to figure out your child’s sexuality, what is your end goal? Is it because you are hoping to help them tell you about it? Do you need to prepare yourself so you can respond in the right way to them? Are you concerned about a relationship they are involved in?
Take some time to look at why you are asking first. If your goal is anything other than what would help and encourage your child, it may be time to ask yourself some questions instead. Here are a few questions I would encourage asking yourself before you ask about your child’s sexuality.
- If my child is gay, how will I handle that?
- What can I do to make this home a safe and loving place for my child no matter what?
- Am I afraid of it?
What are the different preferences your child might have?
Please know that this is not a comprehensive list. Instead, this is meant to give you a starting point to better understand your child. When given new information, you might not understand what your child is really telling you. Understanding some of the common terms when asking, “is my child gay” can help you to better support and be there for your child.
- Asexual – There are many subcategories within asexual. If your child comes out to you as Asexual, you will want to ask them more about their specific subset. In general, someone who is Asexual has no desire for sexual intimacy.
- Bisexual – A person who is bisexual will generally have an interest in both genders. Some may have a preference for one or the other but ultimately, they will be interested in both on some level.
- Gay/Lesbian – These terms are both used to define someone who has an interest in someone of the same gender. Gay is most commonly used to define a male who is interested in a male and Lesbian is most commonly used to define a female who is interested in a female.
- Transgender – This term is most commonly used to refer to someone who is biologically one gender but believes that they are not that gender based on what they were assigned at birth.
- +More – The LGBTQIA Resource Center has put together a comprehensive guide to a variety of terms. I highly recommend spending some time reading through the various terms to educate yourself.
How do I prepare for my child to “come out” to me?
When a child “comes out” to their parents, they are saying that they trust their parents enough to share this with them. It means that you are seen as a safe person or that they have reached a point where they are ready for you to know. It can be overwhelming news at first if you are not prepared for it. Some of the steps below may help you to be ready for them.
*** Important disclaimer – Do not rush this process. Let your child tell you when they are ready.
- Don’t overdo it! – When some parents suspect that their children may be part of the LGBTQ community, they will overcompensate to try to get their children to tell them. It’s important to let your child know you love them no matter what but not to make it seem like you’re pushing them to tell you something.
- Make your home an LGBTQ-safe space. – Your children are watching the way you speak about people who are LGBTQ when deciding whether they will talk to you. Work on creating a home that lets them feel safe and welcome to talk to you when they are ready.
- Spend time on research. – It can help to spend time doing research on your own. Learn about the different preferences. Spending some time researching on your own before they talk to you can help you to be more supportive when they feel comfortable talking to you.
The most important thing you can do is to speak to someone in the LGBTQ community and learn more. Your child is still the same amazing person they always were! If they are gay or if they are not, they are still incredible people deserving of love and respect from you.
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