How would you cope if your son decided to come out and reveal he was gay? Would you welcome him with open arms, hugs, and kisses while telling him how much you love him and support him? Or would you find yourself in an emotional tailspin, where you cry, are upset, angry, or completely confused by his revelation?
Even if you are elated by his coming out, you could still experience conflicting emotions. This is completely normal. It does not mean you did anything wrong or that you are bad parents. It simply means you are struggling with your emotions.
You could even be experiencing grief. Grief can occur in this situation because you have lost something by your son declaring he is gay. For instance, it could be the image you had of your son getting married and having children with his wife someday.
At some point, you will want to sit down and discuss the matter with a counsellor in Toronto. This may not be easy for you since it is normal for parents to shrug off their feelings and emotions. In some situations, you may even start to blame your son for how you are feeling.
It is essential to remember that placing blame will not help you feel better or resolve issues. However, counselling can help you address your feelings and emotions in a safe and supportive environment.
Other reasons to consider counselling when you are experiencing conflict over your son’s coming out include:
- You can develop a better understanding of the challenges your son has had to face.
- You can establish the groundwork for maintaining a relationship with your son.
- You can start to learn how to formulate thoughtful, productive, and honest responses when discussing your son’s sexuality.
- You and your spouse or partner can resolve conflict when you are not on the same page and are struggling with various issues.
Most importantly, you need to remind yourself that your son’s coming out is not all about you and your feelings. Whether your son is a teenager or a young adult, he has had time to think about his feelings, emotions, and gender identity to conclude he is gay.
The road for him could have been exceedingly difficult, especially if either parent has vocally expressed negative feelings about the LGBTQ+ community, which would conflict with your son’s views. Furthermore, it is even more counterproductive to blame your son when viewing his announcement as a threat to your image and standing in the community.
Sadly, some parents feel like their image has been deliberately attacked. It can be difficult not to fall into this trap. Instead, counselling can help you realize your son still needs your love and support, whether you have reservations and concerns or are over the moon about your son’s coming out.
When you need guidance and assistance to address your emotional responses to your son announcing he is gay or to schedule an initial consultation, please feel free to contact Toronto counsellor Ellen Starr, by calling 416-488-3102 today!