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Coming Out as Gay or Lesbian: Common Questions from Parents
These set of pages are taken from the chapter entitled “Coming Out as Gay or Lesbian,” written by Drs. Neena Malik and Kristin Lindahl. It is designed to directly answer questions that many parents have when they first learn that their child is gay or lesbian, and discusses what it means to come out, what to expect, and ways to react.

The chapter was featured in the book, The Parent’s Guide to Psychological First Aid: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Predictable Life Crises, edited by Drs. Donald Koocher and Annette La Greca. To download the full chapter, click here .

Books

ComingOut Home Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey By Betty Degeneres

Betty DeGeneres tells her story: the complicated path to acceptance and the deepening of her friendship with her daughter; the media's scrutiny of their family life; the painful and often inspiring stories she's heard on the road as the first non-gay spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's National Coming Out Project.

ComingOut Home My Child is Gay: How Parents React When They Hear the News By Bryce McDougall

Written by parents who have a gay or lesbian child, this compilation of letters can help parents deal with feelings of confusion, embarrassment, guilt, or anger, while showing how ordinary families have found love, happiness, and normalcy again. Updated with new stories and experiences, this edition acknowledges that while a brave child often takes time to come to terms with his sexuality before sharing his feelings, parents are often shocked and overwhelmed with little time to react. Together these letters reaffirm the healing power of support and allow those with first-hand knowledge to outline the steps toward understanding and the importance of helping their children share the truth

ComingOut Home The New Gay Teenager By Ritch C. Savin-Williams

Gay, straight, bisexual: how much does sexual orientation matter to a teenager's mental health or sense of identity? In this down-to-earth book, filled with the voices of young people speaking for themselves, Ritch Savin-Williams argues that the standard image of gay youth presented by mental health researchers--as depressed, isolated, drug-dependent, even suicidal--may have been exaggerated even twenty years ago, and is far from accurate today.

ComingOut Home It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living By Dan Savage

It Gets Better is a collection of expanded essays and new material from celebrities, everyday people and teens who have posted videos of encouragement, as well as new contributors who have yet to post videos to the site. While many of these teens couldn't see a positive future for themselves, we can. We can show LGBT youth the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach if they can just get through their teen years. By sharing these stories, It Gets Better reminds teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone - and it WILL get better.

ComingOut Home GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens By Kelly Huegel By Kelly Huegel

When it was first published in 2003, GLBTQ quickly became the indispensable resource for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens. This fully revised and updated edition retains all of the straightforward information and practical advice of the original edition while providing a contemporary look at society and its growing acceptance of people who are GLBTQ. Included are updates on efforts to promote equality, including the current status of legislative initiatives concerning safe schools, gay marriage, workplace equality, transgender expression, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Issues-based information and advice address coming out, prejudice, getting support, staying safe, making healthy choices, and thriving in school. This frank, sensitive book is written for young people who are beginning to question their sexual or gender identity, those who are ready to work for GLBTQ rights, and those who may need advice, guidance, or reassurance that they are not alone.

University of Miami Department of Psychology ComingOut