Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and also two complete guides:

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions. For more detailed information please read the booklets above.

 

Is it my fault?

Gay, lesbian and bisexual people come from all walks of life and all types of families. Nothing you have done has made your child gay. Many studies have been done as to what causes homosexuality but nobody knows the answer. Don't torture yourself trying to find out. You can support your child without knowing what made him/her gay.

 

Who led my child into homosexuality?

It is a popular misconception that homosexuals recruit young people to be gay. No one has made your child gay. He or she has probably known for a very long time that they are different and gradually come to the realisation they're gay or lesbian.

 

Is it a phase my child is going through?

By the time your son/daughter 'comes out' (tells you they are lesbian or gay) they will be pretty sure about their sexuality. It takes a lot of courage to tell parents and your child has probably thought about it for a very long time. You must believe what they are telling you. It is very unlikely they will change.

 

Why can't I accept my child's sexuality?

You have suffered a great shock. Many parents feel frightened about their child's future. There is a lot of prejudice and homophobia in our society and it is difficult to dismiss it from your mind. As time progresses you will learn to dispel all the myths and misconceptions and gradually learn to accept your child's sexuality. It is helpful to join a group and talk to other parents and gay children so you realise you are not alone with your feelings.

 

How can I tell other people?

The decision to tell family and friends about your child's sexuality should always be with the child. Parents have to 'come out' just like their gay children. Telling someone will help relieve some of the stress of keeping a secret and ease your guilt. 'Coming out' to friends and family may be difficult but it can help you to get the support you need and help you in other ways too. You may get some negative responses from people you tell but you may be surprised to find many people will be supportive. Remember - The decision to tell family and friends about your child's sexuality should always be with your child.

 

What about HIV/AIDS?

All parents should be concerned about HIV/AIDS and they should make sure all their children both gay and straight are aware of how HIV is transmitted and how to practice safer sex. This is an issue that is important for everyone not just our gay and lesbian children.

 

Why did he/she have to tell me?

You may feel that you would have been better off never knowing about your child's sexuality. Some parents deny what has happened. However, your son/daughter's sexuality is a very important part of their life and keeping a secret from you could be very stressful and you would never know the whole person. The fact that your son/daughter has 'come out' to you shows that they love you and that they want you to love and support them. Remember - your son/daughter is the same person they were before they told you. The only difference is you know a little more about them. You know the whole person and will be able to have an open and honest relationship.

 

The Law (UK)

After a seven year parliamentary fight, at last, Stonewall and other campaign groups have won an equal age of consent for lesbians and gays (Age 16 in the United Kingdom). The Bill to equalise the age of consent for gay and heterosexual men become law on the day which marked the hundredth anniversary of the death of Oscar Wilde.
Age of consent in other countries:  www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm

 

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