Parents may worry about their children if they think they are having problems at school or among friends because of their sexuality

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As our Good Childhood Report shows, children who are lesbian, gay or bisexual may have lower well-being than their peers. It's important as a parent to make them feel that they are in a positive environment at home and be there to offer support should they ask.

  • Create a positive environment where your child feels able to talk to you about their sexual orientation or gender identity, for example, say positive things about LGBT people when they’re on TV and don’t allow people to say negative things under your roof.
  • Don’t ask them directly. Let your child tell you in their own time. If they do tell you, it will have taken a great deal of courage on their part.
  • Don't dismiss it as a phase. This will make it seem like you’re not taking them seriously and undermine their confidence, which will make them less likely to open up to you in future. If they tell you they’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender you should take their word for it.
  • If you have any reservations about being gay, the best thing you can do is to put these feelings to one side and remember that, regardless of your son or daughter’s sexuality, you love them and want them to be happy. Their sexuality doesn’t change that.
  • Discuss the subject in a positive and open way. Educate yourself by researching the topic. There is lots of material available but also don't be afraid to ask questions and get things wrong. The fact you are showing interest in a supportive way will make a huge difference. If they don't want to discuss it with you, then don't force the issue, and don't expect them to have all the answers, they are most likely on a path self discovery themselves.
  • Be ready to provide support by researching youth groups and other support groups available in your local area. Consider their personal safety, for example when going out or possible issues such as bullying at school.

Find further help and advice from Stonewall