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Guiding Teenagers Blogs

Supporting Gay Teens: A Guide for Parents — Part I of a 2-Part Series

written by: Daniel Currie

editing, proofreading, and accuracy reviewed by: Jacasa Currie

Cover photo for Season 4, Episode 5 Blog Post: "Supporting Gay Teens" Part I

Supporting Gay Teens, Part I of the Series:

In honor of Pride Month, we are dedicating a special two-part series to support teens who are gay or feel trapped in their own bodies. In this part, we will focus on acceptance. It can be challenging to understand and support a teenager's "decision" to be gay, especially if you come from a more traditional upbringing. It's important to note that the word "decision" is in quotes because when your teen is honest about their desires and emotions, it isn't a decision but their raw, natural, inherent feelings. Let's dive a little deeper, shall we?

Table of Contents


Drawing Parallels: Uncontrollable Feelings

In approaching our teen's feelings for the same sex, regardless of how we feel, we should always keep an open mind for their sake. An excellent way to help with this is by drawing parallels to other uncontrollable conditions like ADHD, stress, anxiety, and depression. These conditions, much like sexual orientation, cannot simply be controlled or changed at will. Let's explore this a bit more.

Understand: Uncontrollable

Just as someone who suffers from ADHD, stress, anxiety, or depression didn't ask for their condition and can't easily change it, our teen's sexual orientation is no different. It is not something they can control. It's an inherent part of who they are, not a choice.

Gay teen boy in a white shirt holding a Pride flag staring off happy

Understand: The Teen's Core

Once we come to grips, understand, and accept the fact that being gay isn't just a life choice but a way of life—whether they want it or not—it will help us understand our teens better. Like a child with ADHD can't will themselves to focus, a gay teen can't change their orientation. This is who they are at their core; their raw, exposed, vulnerable, humble selves.

Empathy and Support

We should be proud and encourage our teens to wear their hearts on their sleeve, unafraid, courageous, and bold to be themselves in an uncertain world. When we see our teens waging war internally with their feelings, confused and scared, the best thing we can do for them is to be there for them and provide the support they need. Empathy and support will go a long way.

The Social Teen Impact: Embracing Same-Sex Attraction

As parents, it's natural to have concerns and fears when your teen comes out of the closet. Addressing these concerns openly and honestly can help forge understanding and build a stronger, supportive relationship.

Fear of Social Rejection

The most common concern is the fear of social rejection and discrimination when identifying as a gay individual. As a parent of a teen belonging to the gay community, worrying about their child's safety and well-being in an uncertain society can be utterly terrifying. There are ways to combat this unnerving and validated fear:

  • Educate yourself and your teen about their rights and available resources.

  • Encourage your teen to build a support network of friends and fellow members of the gay/LGBTQ+ community who understand and accept them.

  • Create a strong foundation for your teen at home, helping them confidently navigate potential challenges.

Two teen boys in a classroom setting with their arms around each other giving a thumbs up

Worrying About the Future

Parents often worry about their teen's future, fearing that the label of being gay might limit their opportunities or happiness. It's crucial to remember that being gay does not define your teen's potential for success or joy; how we respond to their orientation may.

With the right guidance, support, and direction, our teens can lead fulfilling, successful lives. Focus on nurturing and enabling your teen's strengths and passions. Encourage them to pursue their dreams without fear and with confidence. By supporting your teen's ambitions and affirming their worth, you provide them with a platform to build a positive and resilient self-image.

Building a Positive Home Environment

Creating a loving and accepting home environment is critical for your teen's emotional health. Let's discuss some practical steps to ensure your home is a safe haven for your teen.

Two Asian teen lesbians smiling and waving on a bed holding up a pride flag behind them

Open and Honest Communication

If you've ever read any of our Guiding Teenagers blogs, you know open, honest communication is key. Maintain and encourage open lines of communication with your teen. Urge them to express their thoughts openly and wholeheartedly without fear of judgment. Let them know that their opinions and experiences are valued and respected. By welcoming an atmosphere of openness, you can help your teen feel more safe, comfortable, and supported by the closest people in their lives—YOU!

Inclusive Family Activities

Engage in family activities that promote inclusivity and acceptance. Participate in events celebrating diversity, such as Pride parades or community gatherings. It's crucial to remember that this is for your teen. Being involved will mean more than you could imagine, reinforcing your teen's sense of belonging and demonstrating your commitment to their well-being.

Professional Support

There are times when seeking professional support can benefit both parents and teens. It shouldn't be the first thing that comes to mind, but consider connecting with a counselor or therapist who specializes in LGBTQ+ issues when challenges arise. Professional guidance can provide valuable insights and coping strategies for navigating this journey together. Therapy can also offer a safe space for your teen to express and explore their feelings, helping them gain confidence within their own skin.


Supporting a gay teen in a traditional family setting can be challenging but deeply rewarding. In honor of Pride Month, we focus on fostering understanding, acceptance, and love. By recognizing that sexual orientation, like other uncontrollable conditions, is inherent and not a choice, we can empathize with our teens.

Address concerns about social rejection and the future by educating yourself, building a strong support network, and encouraging your teen to pursue their passions. Creating a loving home environment, maintaining open communication, engaging in activities together, and seeking professional support when needed are key. Acceptance and love are the most powerful tools to help your teen navigate their journey confidently and joyfully.

Stick around for Part II, written by our newest member of the Guiding Teenagers crew, next Wednesday!

3 bubbly teen girls outdoors proudly holding a pride flag over their heads


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Originally Written on: June 19, 2024



Innerbody - Online Therapy Guide for LGBTQ+

PFLAG - Parents: Quick Tips for Supporting Your LGBTQ Kids-and YOURSELF-During the Coming-Out Process

The Trevor Project - LGBTQ+ Community Resources

APA - Understanding sexual orientation and homosexuality

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