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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can we deal with our teenager coming out as gay?

    He has told us hardly anything but the bald fact of it, and that his mates and others at school already knew because he'd told them.

    We love him. We believe him. We want to accept him. At the same time we are sad for him and, truthfully, for us, that life in the future will not be what we had assumed.

    We're a little bit hurt that he didn't discuss with us first. We would prefer that he had not come out while he is still at school because the “label” will dominate him at school now.

    It's like he's deprived himself of that last “innocence” of youth (and his siblings too who are at the same school) by just being able to be a kid.

    We are not talking about denying who he is, just sitting on it a while longer until he was out of the school world and in the adult world; but it's done now.

    How do we move on from these feelings?

    How do we not convey them to him?

    How are to ‘be’ with this news while supporting him?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Colin Longworth


    Is a Generalist Psychologist, who is able to provide counselling services under Medicare (with a GP referral) as well as Telehealth and Clinical Hypnotherapy. He … View Profile

    One of the common responses to this sort of issue is the acknowledgement that your son will have come to this realisation over a period of time and you can expect that your own integration of this information will also probably also take some time.

    While not the “be all and end all” what might be of use, may be contacting the local chapter of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) their website can be found at

    You (and he) may also find it usefull to contact Q-Life (the national counselling and referral line) the phone number is 1800 184 527. As they say on the website: "QLife provides nation-wide, early intervention, peer supported telephone and web based services to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people of all ages. (See

    There are also any number of books that may be of assistance, one of the earliest (and since been updated a few times was "Now That You Know: A Parents' Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children“, another is ”My child is Gay: How parents react when they hear the news". This book being an Australian collection of letters, from parents. There are various other books as well., you can probably also borrow some from the public library system.

    However probably the best thing is to seek to support your son and try to accept that he will probably tell you more when he is ready and will benefit from the “unconditional positive regard” that is not always the experience of all young LGBTI people.

    (I should probably state that I have been a volunteer Phone Counsellor with the WA part of what's now known as Q-Life for 30+ years.)

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