Monday, December 23, 2013

There’s No Place for Coming Out for the Holidays!


Some tips for Gay Kids for a More Peaceful Holiday with Straight Folks

Do’s and Don’ts For the Holidays:
  •  Don’t push your agenda on your relatives.  While you may want to educate them about your gay lifestyle and how you feel more honest about “being out,” save your coming out for a more relaxed time.
  • If your parents have a hard time accepting alternate lifestyles, don’t expect things to be magically different during the holidays.
  • You don’t want to lend more stress to the holiday quest for perfection: perfect meal, perfect home, perfect gifts to compliment the recipients.
  • It’s best not to introduce your signficant other to the family at this time.  Wait until the “holiday craziness” is over and your family can focus on welcoming your partner.
  • However, if your partner is already with you in your parents’ home, and your parents put in your old bedroom with twin beds, don’t grouse about it.  Remember it’s their house!

Do:

  • Have an escape plan.  Pick your battles.  You should be treated with respect.  Don’t compromise your own beliefs, but don’t demand that your family share all your beliefs. Take a time out if your emotions escalate.
  • ·     Remember that these are your parents and with time, they will come to accept your orientation. You’re the same person you’ve always been and whom they’ve loved all along.
  • Keep in mind that the visit with the family won’t last forever.  Try to enjoy yourself.  The visit will soon be over and you will be in your own home. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Whose Life Is It Anyway?

Many parents have trouble believing that their teens are gay.  To them, it’s a phase that their kids are passing through.  They can rationalize all they want. “ How could you be? You’re too young to know!”

It’s difficult for parents to shift mental sets and assimilate the new data of what it means to have a gay child. At first, they are unable to reconcile a gay child’s homosexuality with their heterosexual notions of their child’s identity and future life plans, according to Jonathan Tobkes, M.D.,  a Manhattan psychiatrist who sees many gay teens in his private practice.

Call it denial on the parent’s part or homophobia, but in this instance, it’s the child who knows best. Your child may have been aware of his sexual orientation since early childhood.  He/she doesn’t want to hear from you that it’s a stage when he/she is certain of his sexual orientation. 

Even if you don’t understand, there are others who do and will make the acceptance of his identity easier for you.  

Tips for Greater Understanding 

Dr. Tobkes suggests the following to make the adjustment to the coming out easier:
  • ·      You might try individual or family therapy.
  • ·      Talk to friends whom you trust.
  • ·      Join a Support Group such as PFLAG,( Parents and Friends of Lesbians & Gays), with national chapters.
  • ·      Utilize ongoing open and direct conversations with your child.
  • ·      Educate yourself with literature, online websites for parents of gays, and reputable videos or programs.