If you've just found out your child is gay or lesbian, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused. You may have questions you can't even voice at this point and you may have feelings and emotions you will have to process. You may be wondering how to relate to your child, how to show support for them, how to deal with your potential negative feelings about their sexual orientation, questions about the law and homosexuality, questions about AIDS and your child and many other issues.
The Internet is a great resource to help answer some of your questions and help you process some of your emotions.
- Homepage for PFLAG or Parents, Families&Friends of Lesbians&Gays. This site is completely devoted to the questions parents have about their gay children. They offer education and advocacy for gay and lesbian rights. They are primarily known for offering local support groups so you can meet a community of people going through what you're going through. The support group will offer support for you and give you people you can share stories and questions with. If you can't find a local chapter in your city, there is an online chapter so you can be in touch with other parents.
- Out Proud. This site offers a great brochure for parents. It includes information about common feelings and questions such as whether or not to tell family members, the laws, stories of parents, and other issues. This is a great starting-off point, if you're feeling overwhelmed with questions and feelings and having difficulty putting those into words.
- American Psychiatric Association. The APA (American Psychiatric Association) has done a great deal of research about homosexuality. This article spells out their findings in an easy-to-read article. It may help to answer many of your questions about your child's sexual orientation.
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. This website has an article about what gay and lesbian adolescents go through in our society and how parents can help them.
- Exodus Youth. Be aware that there are many religious-based sites that are strongly against homosexuality. To be thorough, I've included a link to a site to that spells out one such organization's position.
- Chat Groups/Message Boards. A message board or a chat group is a great way to discuss your feelings and ask questions about your child's sexual orientation from the comfort of your own home. Chat groups also allow you to be anonymous, which may a plus for many people. I've included a link for a popular Yahoo chat group.
- Great Books. There are also many great books about parenting your gay or lesbian child. A few suggestions include Straight Parents, Gay Children: Inspiring Families to Live Honestly and with Greater Understanding by Robert A. Bernstein and My Child Is Gay: How Parents React When They Hear the News by Bryce McDougall.