Things You Should & Shouldn't Do...Should & Shouldn't Say
Do listen to what your loved one’s life is like, and what kind of experiences he or she has had in the world.
Do take the time to seek information about the lives of GLBT people from parents of GLBT people, friends of your loved one, literature, and, most of all, directly from your loved one.
Do get professional help for anyone in the family, including yourself, who becomes severely depressed over your loved one’s sexuality or gender identity.
Do accept that you are responsible for your negative reactions.
Do help your child (or loved one) set individual goals, even though these may differ drastically from your own.
Do try to develop trust and openness by allowing your loved one to choose his or her own lifestyle.
Do be proud of your loved one’s capacity for having loving relationships.
Do look for the injured feelings underneath the anger and respond to them.
Do defend him or her against discrimination.
Do respect your loved one’s right to find out how to choose the right person to love and how to make relationships last.
Do say, "I love you."
Don’t blame your own feelings on your loved one.
Don’t rush the process of trying to understand your loved one’s sexuality or gender identity.
Don’t assume that your loved one should see a professional counselor.
Don’t criticize your loved one for being different.
Don’t expect your child (or loved one) to make up for your own failures in life.
Don’t try to force your loved one to conform to your ideas of proper sexual behavior.
Don’t blame yourself because your loved one is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered.
Don’t demand that your child (or loved one) live up to what your idea of what a man or woman should be.
Don’t discriminate against your loved one.
Don’t try to break up loving relationships.
Don’t insist that your morality is the only right one.
Remember that your child (no matter what his/her age) needs your love and support - even if it takes a while to support his/her as an LGBT person. It is not okay to rob your child of his/her personal integrity. Each of us want to feel valued and loved. Treat your child or your gay loved one with the same dignity and respect that you want for yourself from others.