For Lesbian Parents: Coming Out To Your Children
As a lesbian parent, you may want to come out to your children at some point, regardless of whether the child came through a previous heterosexual marriage, was adopted as a single mother or with a lesbian partner.
As a parent, your primary concern is with your child's safety. At some point, you may be asked about the father or who the mother is and the answer to these kinds of questions could have an impact on your child. This is something to definitely take into account.
As far as location and method to inform your child, that is a very personal decision but you should consider the risks and benefits of this decision.
Benefits of Coming Out To Your Children
As a lesbian parent, should you come out to your children? Here are the benefits to consider.
Honesty: Children generally model the behavior of their parents, so it is important to be honest with them. If your children see that you can be honest over such a difficult topic, they may, in turn, be more honest with issues in their life.
Pride: Throughout their upbringing, children will be exposed to many negative feelings towards homosexuality, maybe through jokes, television or movies. You could be the positive image of homosexuality for them and show them that homosexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. (Top 10 Myths About Lesbians)
Risks of Coming Out To Your Children
Lesbian parents do face risks in coming out to their children.
Custody: There is an unfortunate reality in our legal system which makes the risk of losing a child in a custody battle over sexual preference a very real danger. If you think your sexual preference may jeopardize your standing in court, it may be wise to not come out at this time.
Partner: It is natural for a child to hold some type of resentment to the parents' new partners. This is natural and is something you may want to prepare yourself for. Think about how to handle the situation. There could be an increased level of tension because of the new same-sex partner.
Homophobia: As any homosexual must deal with, homophobia is an issue your child will have to deal with as well. If you do choose to come out, help your children realize they may have to deal with some taunting. The children need to realize that they have done nothing wrong, but must deal with the ignorance of others.
(Related story on coming out lesbian here.)
Last Updated: 18 August 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD