Every person in the world has their own come out story that can subsequently turn their whole world upside down. There is no how-to manual available that can show people the right way to come out in front of their parents. Coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community, even after its decriminalization, can be an incredibly traumatic experience for many people out there. Especially with the horror stories of parents disowning their children enveloping the whole internet.
There is also a fear of rejection that causes many people to take a step back and be quiet about their personal life. This can also lead to increased mental health risk amongst the queer people around the world. But when the children finally decide to come out of their self-built shell, they are faced with tough questions often laid out by their own parents. They are appalled instead of getting praised for coming out as who they are.
Although we live in a progressive nation, homophobia is still a major concern in India. You may expect a warm hug or something like ‘it’s okay to be different’ from your parent but instead, they are told something like- Relax, it’s just a phase, give it some time and it will pass!
We know that all the parents in the entire world want what’s best for their children- from providing child support to giving us peace of mind in our tough times, they do it all. But at times, they feel unprepared to tackle with their children’s sexuality and may come across as insensitive.
So, what are some common mistake that every parent makes when their children tell them about their attraction towards the same sex?
- Getting influenced by society- This issue can be found in abundance in our country. From that Sharmaji ka ladka to that kid who topped the IAS exams, Indian kids are expected to follow others footsteps while staying relevant. If Sharmaji deems LGBTQ as an unredeemable mistake, then the whole society has to accept it. Only God knows what would happen if his own child gets subjected to the so-called ‘mistake’.
- Calling it as a phase- I’m sorry to break this out, but this is not just a phase. Doesn’t matter if it’s depression or different sexual preference, it’s all just a phase according to the Indian parents unless they have encountered something themselves. Though it’s true that sexuality can be fluid sometimes and it exists on a spectrum, but if your children are reaching out with this information, it’s safe to assume that they are quite sure about it.
Accepting the truth can be hard sometimes, especially if you’re a parent who doesn’t know much about the LGBTQ community. But even you can support your children’s bravery and increase their pride through some things listed below-
Be a good listener, let your child talk
Knowing the truth can be uncomfortable at first for most parents out there. So, don’t feel the pressure to advise them or give a warm hug, just listen intently even if you can’t find words to say. This can be an extremely sensitive or vulnerable moment for your child. Just try to give it a human feel and understand what they are trying to say.
Try to foster a positive LGBTQ atmosphere in your house
Homosexuality can come in a number of different shapes and sizes. Certain stereotypical mannerisms, interest or fashion sense aren’t always the best steadfast indicator which can define your children’s sexuality. So, if you still think that your child is uncomfortable to come out, rely on your instincts, and make your home open to all kinds of sexuality. You can create a sense of diversity in your house where your children feel more comfortable to talk about different and personal stuff.
Encourage a dialogue
Perhaps, this is the best way to infuse confidence in your child. Try to get comfortable with your child and don’t rush onto the conclusions. And if your child feels more comfortable around you, then s/he will be able to share their private life with you.
There were some tips from our side to smooth over some common speed bumps found in the modern conversation about LGBTQ community. Luckily, even the government understands the LGBTQ community, so it’s also time for every parent out there to focus on the bigger picture and accept their queer child without differentiating.