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Our Daughters and Sons:
Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.

Copyright 1995. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc. Reprinted 2006--readers are welcome to copy it in whole or in part, with proper accreditation to PFLAG.

What do you do when you first find out that your child is gay, lesbian or bisexual?

Most parents aren’t prepared for the words, “Mom, Dad. I’m gay.” If you’re like many parents, your first reaction is “How will I ever handle this?”

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is here for you. We hope this booklet will help you understand your child’s sexuality and its meaning to you and your continued relationship with your son or daughter.

Our members consist of parents, families and friends of gay, lesbian and bisexual people. We most likely have been through much of what you are now feeling. We understand.

We can tell you with absolute certainty that you’re not alone. According to some statistics, one in every ten people in this country and around the world is gay. Approximately one in four families has an immediate family member who is gay, lesbian or bisexual, and most families have at least one gay, lesbian or bisexual member in their extended family circle.

That means that there are plenty of people out there you can talk to. We can tell you from experience that talking about it really helps. There are books to read, telephone help-lines to call, websites to visit, and people to meet who, by sharing their own experiences, can help you move forward. And PFLAG can connect you with the information and support services you need.

The second thing we can tell you is that – if you choose to – you will emerge from this period with a stronger, closer relationship with your child than you have ever had before. That’s been the case for all of us. But the path to that point is often not easy.

Some parents were able to take the news in stride. But many of us went through something similar to a grieving process with all the accompanying shock, denial, anger, guilt and sense of loss. So if those are the feelings with which you’re dealing, they’re understandable given our society’s attitudes towards gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Don’t condemn yourself for the emotions you feel. But, since you love your child, you owe it to him or her – and to yourself – to move toward acceptance, understanding and support.

Click here to read the entire article.

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