We sincerely hope so. Because you are asking this, we guess that you may have a reason to believe that they might not be supportive. However, although some parents may find the news that you are gay difficult, and may struggle to accept it, parents’ love tends to run very deep.
It’s normal to feel nervous and vulnerable when you are thinking of coming out, so here are a few tips put together by counsellors experienced with the LGBTIQ+ community.
- Firstly, remember that it is totally up to you whether, or if, you want to ‘come out’ and talk to your parents about being gay. This is your personal identity, and there is no rush to share it with anyone until you feel ready.
- Be clear first about your own feelings about being gay, and make sure you are feeling confident and positive. It may be best to get some support first, perhaps from a counsellor or support group. You can get some great information and phone or online support from https://qlife.org.au/ and mental health support for young people from https://au.reachout.com/. In Cairns there are groups that meet at YETI (07) 4051 4927 and Headspace has an online youth LGBTIQ+ support group that meets weekly https://headspace.org.au/lgbtiqaplus/ .
- Prepare your parents/friends by saying something like "I want to talk to you about something that's really important to all of us…" Be positive and assertive.
- If you do decide to tell them you are gay, remember that you can’t control your parents’ initial reactions. If those reactions are not positive, that is not your fault or responsibility. It's not your responsibility to make it easier for anyone but you!
- Remember that if things go badly at first, it’s unlikely that it will be like that forever…things generally get better with time.
- Don't try to come out when something else important is going on in the family - weddings, funerals, birthdays, Christmas etc…
- Sometimes parents already suspect that their child is gay, but sometimes it can come as a shock. Let your parents know you are willing to give them time to adjust… there is plenty of time…
- Stay connected to your supports and make sure you have people you trust and can rely on to be supportive – whether in person or via the online support systems mentioned above.
Plenty of people have worried about coming out, and are happily surprised to find their parents are supportive and accepting. We hope that this is the case for you – you deserve unconditional love and acceptance, but it does make sense to plan for a range of reactions, so well done for asking and looking for advice.
You have the right to feel safe all the time, and it is not OK for a parent to hit you. It is very important to talk to someone and get help - but make sure you do so in a way that will keep you safe.
If you are being abused you should talk to an adult you trust, like a close friend, your doctor, School Based Youth Health Nurse, Guidance Officer or a teacher. People like teachers, doctors and police are ‘mandatory reporters’ and are required by law to make a report if they think you are experiencing, or are at risk of experiencing abuse.
If you are in immediate danger of being hurt or abused, do not hesitate to call the police on 000 and if you can, try to go to a secure place like to a trusted family friend, your school, a police station, or a medical centre.
There are also several telephone services that can give you support and advice about violence and abuse.
- Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800: This is a service for people between 5 and 25 years of age and they are available 24 hours. There is also lots of information on their website, along with web-based chat - www.kidshelpline.com.au
- Family and Child Connect on 13 32 64 – This is a Queensland based service that is there to provide free, unlimited and confidential advice, and can help you to make a confidential report if you choose to do so.
Finally, well done for choosing to speak up and ask this question. It is not at all easy to talk about family violence, and it took a lot of courage to submit this question. Please stay safe, and we wish you all the best.
There are a number of things to keep in mind when you are entering a sexual relationship. Firstly there is the issue of consent. By law, in QLD, a person under the age of 16 cannot give consent. Consent needs to be free, willing and enthusiastic, so spend a bit of time thinking yourself, and talking to your partner about your feelings and readiness for a sexual relationship. Are you both able to speak freely to each about what you are comfortable doing, and any boundaries that you have? Are you confident that you both feel the same way and no one is feeling pressured by expectations? You have the responsibility to ensure that your partner feels safe and supported, and they have the responsibility as well to ensure that you feel the same way.
Establishing those great communication skills and a healthy and free relationship is a great start, but remember as well that consent is an ongoing conversation. You or your partner can stop or change your mind, and it’s both of your responsibility to make sure you check in and make sure that you have consent throughout. This doesn’t have to be weird or awkward - just ask ‘is this ok?”, or “do you like that?” and it can be a fun and sexy part of sex.
There are also responsibilities around sexual health. Some people like to go for a sexual health check before entering a sexual relationship with a new partner. Not only do you ensure that you are healthy, but it also gives you the opportunity to discuss any questions you may have with a health professional. Even after a health check it is always important to use protection such as condoms, which protect against sexually transmitted infections as well as helping to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Well done for thinking about responsibilities before taking this step in your life!
It is normal for humans to feel the whole spectrum of emotions from joy and excitement to sadness and anger. When you begin puberty, your body is experiencing many changes caused by hormones. Hormones are like messengers in your body that control everything! They control your growth and development, but also your mood.
When you are in your teen years you have a huge amount of hormonal change and this can impact your mood significantly resulting in you experiencing emotional reactions that might not seem logical given the circumstances. For example, you might get really angry or sad and you might not know why. I want to assure you, this is normal during puberty. This can be a really tough thing to go through and its important you are kind to yourself when this happens. Find ways of releasing these emotions that help you such as exercising, talking to friends and family about how you are feeling, and journaling. Journaling not only gives you a way of expressing your emotions but can also serve as a resource to look back on to see what helped you feel better when you were feeling sad or angry so that when you feel that way again you might be able to try a self- care strategy that has worked before.
Most importantly, reach out for help, try your friends and family, or a counsellor, and there is always Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) available as well.