When Z first came out to us as nonbinary and queer earlier this year, E and I were surprised but I can’t say we were shocked.
We had a few clues that this was coming – and we had a pretty great support system, including many friends in the LGBTQIA+ world. We never felt alone.
Since that time, I’ve talked to many parents who had absolutely no clue their child would one day come out and who feel like they are suddenly in deep water with no help in sight.
I’m writing this post for all those parents who feel like they are in over their heads: just relax and breathe. The most important thing right now is to love and support your child, and you already know how to do that! The rest will come, I promise.
If you’re a parent to a newly-out nonbinary or LGBTQIA+ kiddo too, I’ve collected all of our best content on these topics below. And, if you stick around to the very end, I’ve got some additional must-have resources for parents.
Our best nonbinary and LGBTQIA+ content so far
- Nonbinary is just another word for awesome – this was my post when Z first came out as nonbinary. I’ve learned a lot since, but it’s a good starting point.
- What’s the difference between nonbinary and trans? – a deep dive into what it means to be nonbinary, including me comparing bisexual:gay with nonbinary:trans. There’s a lot here to unpack.
- Do all nonbinary kids like to shop this much? – just a fun post about current tween style that may or may not be relevant to all nonbinary or LGBTQIA+ kiddos.
- What no one tells you about parenting a nonbinary child – Spoiler alert: no one tells you ANYTHING! But there are some good learnings in this post.
- Best books for LGBTQIA+ teens and tweens – these are great books, period. They also all have great LGBTQIA+ main characters and storylines. I’d say these are all fine for middle school readers (i.e., no sex or drugs content).
- We fear what we don’t understand – I wrote this post before Z came out. It was inspired by a brouhaha in our local community about a drag program for teens. I think it’s worth a read – and it’s fun to see me proclaim that I’ll be fine if Z one day comes out as GLBTQIA+ because, not too long afterward, they did!
- Our daughter keeps getting misgendered and I hate it – this one is a little hard for me to read, because it’s so obvious that Z knew they were nonbinary then but hadn’t come out to us yet. Still, it is a good read because it shows we were open-minded and ultimately I believe this post was a stepping stone for Z coming out to us.
Other must-have resources for parenting LGBTQIA+ kids
- My Kid is Gay – this site has great resources for parents when kids first come out. Despite the name, it’s also great for when kids come out as nonbinary or trans. In fact, you can sign up for a wonderful digital care package for parents of trans (including nonbinary) youth.
- What to do (and not do) when your child comes out to you – this is a must-read blog post for every parent – especially if your kids haven’t come out yet – so you don’t accidentally do any of the don’ts. It also includes a link to download an e-care package for parents of newly out LGBTQIA+ kids.
- The Family Acceptance Project – This important research group at San Francisco State University has spent almost 20 years studying LGBTQIA+ youth and family acceptance. Their research shows that strong and loving family acceptance of these kiddos is the best protector against health risks such as depression, illegal drug use and suicide. Even if the world outside is harsh, as long as our kids know we always have their backs, they can be resilient and strong.
What other tips or resources do you recommend for parenting these amazing rainbow kiddos – and what related topics should I write about next? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or over on Facebook.