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For Lesbian Parents: Coming Out to your Children

Tips for Coming Out

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Lesbian Moms with Child on Beach

Lesbian Moms with Child on Beach

© Kathy Belge Lesbian Moms

Lesbian Moms

© David Ellis/Getty Images

By Kathy Belge

If you’re a lesbian parent, at some point you may want to come out to your children. Whether you’ve had the children with a lesbian partner, if they were the result of a heterosexual marriage, or you adopted them as a single mom, you may want to make your lesbianism known to your children.

When you have children, you are responsible not only for your own safety, but that of your children. At the playground with your family, you may be asked which one is the mother. Or if you had your child through donor insemination, you may be faced with awkward questions about the child’s father. Before answering those questions, you will need to consider not just how the answer will affect you, but the implications it may have on your child.

When and how to tell your children is a highly personal decision. Before coming out, consider the risks and benefits of your particular situation.

Benefits
Honesty: We all want our children to be honest with us. The best way to teach honesty is to model honesty. If you can talk to your children about a hard topic, like discussing your sexual orientation, they may be more likely to come to you with some of the difficult issues in their life.

Pride: Your children are going to get many messages that homosexuality is wrong. Their school friends may tell gay jokes. They will see homophobic messages on TV and in the movies. You may offer your child the only positive message about gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

If you live your life in the closet, you may be sending an inadvertent message to your child that it is not okay to be gay. If you keep this information from them, they may think you are ashamed of being a lesbian.

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