How to support your LGBTQ teen

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – One of the most difficult conversations you will ever have as a parent is if your child tells you he or she is gay. Once it’s out in the open, how do you move forward and help your child? Clinical Psychologist Dr. Tim Hope joined us to share tips.

If your son or daughter tells you that he or she is gay or transgender or questioning, count yourselves lucky that they have been brave enough, and feel that their relationship with you is good enough, for them to risk telling you.

You have no choice but to accept that this is the way things are.

Educate yourself as much as you can about LGBTQ.

Encourage people to talk about it more openly.

Listen to what your child has to say as calmly as you can.

Model tolerance for gays and lesbians, just as you would for people of other races groups.

Ensure that all channels of communication are kept open so that she/he’s not afraid to talk to you.

Work at accepting the situation, especially the idea of your teen bringing home same-sex boy-or girlfriends.

If your teen needs counselling, put him/her in touch with a professional and the local gay/lesbian support group. Counselling can help teens adjust to personal, family, and school-related issues.

Make contact with other parents of gay and lesbian children for support. Find a PFLAG chapter in your

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