Coming to terms with one’s sexuality or gender identity is a process that can take as much time for the person who is “coming out” as it can for their parents. Parents may experience a period of mourning for the person they imagined their children to be. This reaction is similar to the one felt by every parent who sees a child take a different path than they had expected, even unconsciously. Parents may experience a range of emotions including shock, sadness, anger and rage. In the vast majority of cases, however, parents ultimately come to terms with and accept their child’s sexuality and/or gender identity.
At Gai Écoute, our mandate includes offering information and services for members of the LGBTQ+ community including their parents, friends and family members. The process of “coming out” is a shared, multi-step process that takes time and we are available to listen and offer unconditional support.