“problem kids”? Coming out of the closet for the parents

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Sociologist and sex educator Barbara Rothmüller this time about concerns about discrimination and its consequences for LGBTIQA+ people.

Being a parent is fun, but it also brings worry. Julia, mother of a 17-year-old son, has been very worried lately. Reason: Your son came out as gay. “When my son told me he had a boyfriend, I cried at first. I was afraid he would be discriminated against!”

Parents are often overwhelmed when their children come out and don’t know how to respond. Did they do something wrong in their upbringing? Of course not. Ultimately, what matters is that children are happy and encouraged to believe that they are good just the way they are. Even if they don’t live up to society’s (and their parents’) expectations.

Own prejudices and the associated shame can lead to parents of queer children not talking about it in their circle of acquaintances. Of course, parents want to protect their children and themselves from discrimination. But silence can sometimes make it seem like same-sex love is embarrassing and should be kept secret from others – a vicious circle. Fortunately, homosexuality and bisexuality are often less of a problem for younger generations. Julia’s son has not had any bad experiences either.

A study at the University of Frankfurt shows that the younger generation doesn’t have to worry so much either. Hanna, a young interviewee, feared her mother would reject her before coming out. Their response, however, was: “Great, then I won’t get annoying grandchildren from you!”

Although sexual orientation and the desire to start a family have nothing to do with each other, a humorous approach undoes the unpleasant situation. I don’t know if the mother is speaking out of conviction or wanted to make it easier for her child to come out. If homosexuality, bisexuality and the like were a possibility for many, there would be no need to come out and there would be fewer worries – for everyone involved.

Read more columns HERE!

Source: Krone

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