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My daughter is struggling with her sexual identity. Any advice on how to support her?

40 Answers
Last Updated: 11/02/2020 at 3:23am
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Jennifer Patterson, LMFT, ATR-BC

Art Therapist

Life can be messy. Sometimes you need a little support to make your way through it. I love to help guide people through their challenges & to find the beauty in our messes.

Top Rated Answers
May 29th, 2015 4:56am
Just from this, I would say you're already doing it. Let her know that you want to be there for her and support her in whatever she does and however she identifys. You may also consider finding and showing her a few resources that may be able to help her, including 7 Cups of Tea!
September 16th, 2015 1:53pm
One of the hardest parts of finding your sexual identity is fear of not being loved or accepted. Telling her that you'll love her no matter what and that you're there for her can be really helpful. Also, taking time to learn about sexual orientations and how it feels to be part of the LGBTQ community can be really supportive, so you know what your child is going through:)
April 16th, 2016 5:45pm
Finding out your identity and orientation is difficult, frustrating, and confusing for a lot of people. Stress of being rejected is common, and sometimes stress of disownment. The most you can do is to be there for her, make sure she knows you are alright with whatever she finds herself to be, and continue to love her and stick up for her. The rest, she needs to figure out on her own.
June 14th, 2016 1:01pm
Don't put too much pressure on her. Give her space if she asks for it, && time too if she asks for it. Be there for her if that's what she wants. But most importantlyy, let her find herself. Don't be a kind of influence in that process. Good luck to her :) .
October 17th, 2016 3:40am
Ask her how she is doing on figuring it out, maybe ask her any questions she's been having and help her research them. And the best thing to do is ask her how she wants you to help
March 28th, 2017 6:09pm
My biggest piece of advice here would be to let your child know, in no uncertain terms, that they are loved unconditionally. Be there if they need to talk and try to listen non-judgmentally without giving advice that has not been asked for. If your child has requested that you use different pronouns or a different name, respect that choice and try to make sure others in the family do as well (if you have permission to share that information). The biggest challenge for LGBTQ* folks coming out is the fear that they will be rejected or judged so anything you can do to make sure they do not feel that way will be helpful.
April 2nd, 2018 5:18pm
Just support her whatever. If one day she says she's gay then say that's fine but if she changes her mind then thats also fine don't pressure her to label it if she doesn't want to
March 5th, 2018 7:28pm
First off, unconditional love. Authentically show that you're in full support of wherever she falls on the spectrum. Second, don't pressure her into finding an identity. Sexuality is a huge range and she may not ever adhere to a label. As long as she's happy with herself, it doesn't matter. Third, resources. Because it's such a huge range there's a lot to explore and learn. I suggest You look into Pflag. A very helpful group that can answer your specific questions.
- Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
June 10th, 2019 6:22am
Congratulations on being an awesome and supportive parent! The most important thing is to let her know she can talk about it with you, sometimes just talking helps to see things more clearly. Don't try to make assumptions and find an answer for her, just validate her feelings, show empathy, make her feel accepted and loved. Try to learn as much as you can about sexuality, so you can answer possible questions and help her with her doubts or if she doesn't know a name for what she feels. Point her to good sources on the topic, including but not limited to 7Cups Wiki about LGBTQ+. Encourage her to take her time to analyze her feelings and emotions. Be there for her, but also give her space. Ultimately, just do whatever you wish someone did for you if you were in her situation!
May 22nd, 2018 5:46pm
Supporting people, whatever their challenges are, needs to give up the idea of controlling others because we don't like their lifestyle or the choices they make. So the best way to support who we really care for is truly listening to them, practising the greatest loving-kindness towards them and never judge them: in one sentence, telling them: "Whatever you do or will become, the door of my heart is open to you - which basically means "I will accept you exactly as you are. Unconditionally".
April 8th, 2015 3:46pm
You do exactly that. Support her. If she wants to see a professional, arrange that if at all possible. If she wants to read books on the subject, get those for her. Good for you for wanting to support her, but it sounds like you have the willingness, which is probably the most important thing you can have to help your daughter.
May 30th, 2015 12:21am
Letting her know that you're there and supportive of the community is the most you can do. Pressuring her to come out to you can be harmful, as much as you might want her to.
June 29th, 2015 10:26pm
Tell her that you will be completely accepting of whatever she says she is. That's really all anyone struggling with their identity wants: acceptance.
July 13th, 2015 7:23pm
It not the best to give advice because it can be used to cause harm to your self or others. But I cane link you to a sit that is very helpful. , just take the time to do some reading and learn about your daughters issue and support her
September 19th, 2015 5:49pm
Giving her the room she needs to figure it out for herself is a good start but also at the same time making sure you're there for her when she's ready to come to you with questions and things of that nature. There are many support sites for parents where they can get answers to more difficult questions that they might be thinking and give ways to really support them.
November 3rd, 2015 10:24pm
Always tell her that you will stand with her no matter what, and no matter what she tells you, never make her feel bad about it. Also if she gets a girlfriend or a boyfriend try to be as supportive as you can. Kids will look up to their parents so if you are strong about it, then so will she
November 18th, 2015 3:38pm
I would just let her know that you are here for her and you love/support her with what ever she is. Also maybe let her know that labels aren't that important, that she should just experience attraction freely and worry about what to call it later.
November 20th, 2015 4:49pm
Your daughter is probably going through a very difficult time right now and the best thing you can do as a parent is just be there and support her through the choices and decisions she makes. She may get it wrong, but having your support would make it so much easier for her.
November 20th, 2015 9:08pm
Letting her know you will always be there for her no matter who she chooses to love is one of the most important things; enforcing this mentality is important to. Also let her know that there's no rush to put a label on things and sexuality is fluid and always changing: every one is entitled to all the time they need working something like this out. Don't discourage experimentation, allow her to talk about them if she is comfortable using active listening allowing her to find her own answers so she truly understands her self. It could also help if you find all forms of sexuality (from asexual, pan sexual to swapo sexual).
November 22nd, 2015 1:47pm
It is normal for anyone to struggle when it comes to that subject. If you want to support her just be there for her and listen to her, tell her that it is okay to be lost and with time she'll know what her sexual orientation is. She doesn't need to rush things out. When she finds out what she really is just show her that it is okay and thag you will love her no matter what her sexual orientation is.
December 21st, 2015 12:53am
Be open and try not to judge her, and communicate to her that no matter what her sexual identity is that you love her regardless and that you accept her and her lifestyle
December 22nd, 2015 2:54am
All i can say is just be there for her and listen to her. Supporting her is the best decision. Let her choose her path in life.
January 4th, 2016 3:29pm
Be there for her. Accept her no matter what. Even if she's got some really obscure, only-occurs-in-less-than-1%-of-the-population identity, she's still the same person she was before. Also, researching different identities, both sexual and romantic, can help open the door to communication between you and her about what she's feeling. The more you know, the more you can talk to her about it.
January 19th, 2016 4:24pm
Listen to her, take her seriously, and above all else, make sure she knows you love her unconditionally.
April 5th, 2016 3:23pm
Just show her that you are there for her. Support her no matter what she decides. Don't laugh at her or make fun of her. This is
April 8th, 2016 5:49am
As long as she understands that her belonging/identifying with any section of the sexual identity spectrum makes little difference to your opinion of her...or your love for her, that would be the first step in trying to help her. The message you said out should be that it's absolutely normal for her to feel the way she does, it shouldn't be treated like something that needs to be looked after. After THAT, you need to support her as a friend, and not a parent, because the society is still not ready for that sort of maturity.
April 11th, 2016 4:16am
Give her the time and space to figure it out for herself. Accept that whatever comes next from her is what she wants and support her for it.
April 11th, 2016 3:31pm
Don't judge her. That is the best advice, Because right now your daughter is going through so many changes that I'm sure even scare her, and the last thing that she needs is judgment, So tell her how much you love her, how much you care about her, that your there for her no matter what and anytime she comes to you to talk, Just be as open minded as you can so that she feels comfortable enough to come to you for anything even if you don't agree with what she tells you, Still try and be open. No judgment.
April 12th, 2016 3:08pm
It is very important that your daughter is aware that she has someone to support her. Be sure to let her figure things out herself, but that you also let her know you're there for her.
December 27th, 2016 5:32am
Make sure you let her know you want to be there for her and to support her in whatever she decides to do.