Ask James: How Can I Learn More To Support My LGBTQ+ Child?

James Newman, Advice Columnist

How Can I learn more to support My LGBTQ+ Child?

 – Parental Ally

Dear Ally,
Giving support to a child, friend, or family member who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community is so important, that people don’t realize the importance of giving their support and making people feel seen and heard by others. Now, I can understand how it can be hard to comprehend the language that is being used when you don’t know what it means but I am here to help you.

An important resource that can be used is the Website Queer Undefined which offers people definitions submitted by other queer people to grant a multitude of perspectives to help you understand many of the words used in the LGBTQ+ community and has thousands of thousands of words with definitions.

Another resource that grants you resources and understanding on LGBTQ+ subjects as well as being an ally is PFLAG, an organization that provides support, information, and resources for LGBTQ+ people, their families, and allies. This is so helpful as they give you stories, guides, and many other amazing resources for everyone who is looking for help, a way to learn, etc.

Some other resources include the following:,,,,,, and, just to name a few.

But a really awesome resource that will give you the best information on how to get started and to help your child, is them. Ask your child questions respectfully and get to see their POV on their life. Ask them what they want to know or what you can do to help them. But respect if they may not want to talk about it just yet or their discomfort on the subject.

Make sure that your child knows that they are loved, it can be very scary coming out to parents and family members so reinforce your love to them to make sure they know. Even if to you it may seem obvious to them they don’t know how you’ll react. If you’re not sure what to say it can be something simple like, “ I’m here for you. I love you, and I will support you no matter what” those words can mean everything to your child.

Again encourage conversations about their lives, show your interest/curiosity, and don’t feel discouraged if it feels like you’re pulling teeth. Because it may be scary for them to open up to you so just know that they and you are trying and progress will show up soon.

They may not always spark up these conversations, so you’ll have to be the fire to ignite the conversation sometimes. Try watching popular queer shows or express interest to them in queer issues or communities. And ask them about their favorite characters, shows, etc to learn more about them as well.

Remember that phrases such as “ it’s just a phase” or finding a “cure” are very harmful and will only drive your child further away from you.

But coming out can lead to negativity from different parts of their life. And something that is extremely important is to recognize the signs of bullying from your child.

  • Behavior change (e.g., your outgoing, sociable child is now withdrawn)
  • Discipline or behavioral problems in school
  • Declining grades
  • Unexplained absences
  • Sudden shifts in who’s a friend and who’s not
  • Engagement in risk behavior (e.g., drug use, new sexual partner) that is out of character for your child

You should also try and get involved at the school in some way. For example, helping out the GSA, advocating for inclusive sex education, frequently talking to your child’s teachers, and speaking up against injustice you witness.

Just remember that your child is just being/expressing their true self and there is never anything wrong with that.

I hope this helped you <3.

See you again. XOXO.