Learning Your Teen Daughter Identifies as Lesbian

For a young person struggling to come to terms with her sexual identity, expressing her lesbian orientation to her parents for the first time can be an especially difficult task. While many a teenager’s years are often spent questioning and exploring various facets of her own personality—many of which can and will change over time—you as a parent should strongly consider refraining from snapping to judgment and presuming “it’s just a phase”. Not only is this unhelpful, but it may wind up making your daughter feel alienated at a very vulnerable time in her life. Parental conflict and lesbian teens are common associations, but it is important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. As gay and lesbian teens have markedly higher rates of drug abuse, suicidal ideation, and suicide, it is a far better plan to accept your daughter’s announcement with love and concern, even if you yourself are struggling to come to terms with her beliefs.

Sexual identity therapy may be one very useful tool for both you and your daughter to pursue. There are professional psychologists and family counselors who specialize in working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) youth and teenagers. While parental conflict and lesbian teens are understandably closely related to one another in many families, with proper and professional help at critical steps along the way, you and your daughter can both have a better chance at happier, healthier lives and relationships—both with one another, as well as with others in your family or circle of friends.

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