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July 2011

What If My Child Is Gay?

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Father and daughter.As someone who cares for a girl, you may have lots of concerns, such as whether she has good friends, feels safe at school, and is taking care of her health. As she develops romantic feelings and relationships, you also may wonder if she is gay.

If you think your girl might be gay, consider the following points:

  • All children need to feel accepted and loved. Accepting a gay child can help her build stronger, healthier relationships in the future.
  • You can get help understanding homosexuality and talking to your girl about it. You can contact your doctor, a counselor, and local support groups.
  • Some gay teens may be at increased risk for emotional problems, including depression and suicide. If you are concerned, get help. You can contact a school nurse or counselor, a doctor, or a therapist or other mental health professional.
  • Gay kids may be targets of bullying. Bullying can cause many problems, including trouble sleeping and skipping school. You can learn how to help a bullied child. Gay kids who are bullied also may be more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, like drinking and smoking. Consider looking together with your girl at ways to avoid drugs, alcohol, and smoking.

It can be tough talking with kids about sensitive topics like sex or homosexuality. We have helpful tips for talking with kids about sex, relationships, and more.

What about STIs?

Some girls may think that they can't catch sexually transmitted infections (STIs) from a female. But women who have sex with other women are at risk for many of the same STIs as women who have sex with men. Teens can read more about staying safe in our section on STIs.

 

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Content last reviewed July 01, 2011
Page last updated October 31, 2013

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.

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