Family & Friends - Support
An Introduction . . .
Being a member of the LGBT community can be difficult for family and friends to deal with. Hopefully you'll be really fortunate and those people close to you in life will be accepting and supportive of your sexuality. However, it's not always that simple and sadly some people take a lot longer to accept who you are, your relationships and your decision to be open about it.
Being open with those close to you . . .
One of the most vital parts of a good relationship, whether it's a relationship with family or friends, is to be open and honest. Naturally, it will probably take you a long time before you feel able to and comfortable about informing your friends and family of your sexuality. When you do decide to tell them there could be a wide range of emotions and reactions that you might get. If you do get a bad or negative reaction from someone it can obviously be upsetting but do not let it stop you from telling others about who you are.
If you get a bad reaction from your parents, siblings or wider family it can be very upsetting and life altering but it is important to know that you are not alone. If you are living at home then make sure you have a network of friends to fall back onto before telling your family about your sexuality. If you are living away from home and your parents do not accept your decision to be open straight away then remember it doesn't mean they will always be this way.
If you are a family member or a friend . . .
If your son or daughter has recently come out to you about their sexuality then it is important they know you still love them. One of the biggest fears that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth have about coming out is that their parents will no longer love them and will change their attitude towards them. The chances are that if you are a parent or family member looking on this website then you want to do the best you can for your child. Talk to them openly and discuss any concerns or fears you may have about who they are. Be sure to offer support and let them know how you feel at the same time. Reacting badly to their decision to be open will only push your child away from you and will not help anyone. They are not going to change who they are simply because of others opinions.
If you are a friend of someone in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) community then be sure to also be open with them. If you have any questions then don't be afraid to ask them. If they do not want to answer them then I'm sure they will be friendly enough to say so. It is natural for friends to be curious but remember that they are the same person they have always been. Nothing has changed, only your knowledge of it has.