Some Guidelines for Responding to a Loved One Who Announces, “I’m Gay.”

Secrets Kill
First, affirm your loved one’s courage in sharing with you something they have probably travailed over for a long time. Thank them for sharing this very deep, personal and vulnerable part of their self – their sexuality. The fact that they have shared this part of them is a good thing. Keeping these thoughts and feelings to one’s self only increases the risk of shame and isolation that ensues and gains strength. Verbally appreciate them for giving this significant information.

Reinforce
Be generous with verbal affirmations of loved and commitment. Give physical affections. Do these things now and into the future. Love with abandonment (it does not equal condoning).

Pursue
Intentionally and purposefully pursue relational connections. Continue to invite your loved one to join in sharing life together – dinners, concerts and other social gatherings.

Note: No need to always talk about the ‘gay-thing’ when you are together.

Reserve the Right
Explain that neither of you knows what the future holds and that as each of you grow into a more authentic relationship, request the respecting of each other’s moral choices without the threat of withdrawing from the relationship.

Give each other permission to make mistakes along the way without fear of rejections. Agree to give each other the benefit-of-the-doubt and grace.

God
Ask to pray together. Pray as the Spirit leads without it being ‘teachy’ or ‘preachy’. Pray about the above dynamics – “How can I reinforce my love and commitment to my loved one, Lord. Where can I invite my loved one to partake of relational gatherings, Lord? Make me more like you, Jesus. ”

There is a multifold process going on here.  The Lord is wanting to change your loved one and YOU.

Note:  Often times I witnessed the gay-identified loved one pressuring parents to move into their same place of peace and celebration.  I recommend parents ask for at least the same amount of time the loved one took to get to the place of peace to possibly come to the same place.  The way I see it – the loved one often times reports I have felt ‘this way’ since I was very young (7ish).   So, being the loved one is now 24 that would be 18 years that it took him/her to process to a place of peace with their gay identity.    You are asking for the same amount of time (18 years) to process.

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