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Why Does Our Child Flaunt His/Her Sexuality?

Gays, lesbians and bisexuals are often accused of “flaunting” their sexuality when they “come out” as gay, when they are publicly affectionate with a same-sex partner, or when they wear gay symbols and T-shirts or participate in gay priden parades.

In a world that still assumes all people are heterosexual, “coming out” is the only way gay, lesbian and bisexual people can make their sexual orientation known. And “coming out” is often considered a positive way to avoid societal invisibility that can lead to internalized self-hate or lack of self-esteem.

You may be uncomfortable with your child's public displays of affection with his or her same-gender partner. Bear in mind that all couples — straight and gay — often show affection publicly because they feel love and appreciation for their partner.

But stop and think — are you as uneasy about heterosexuals showing affection in public? In these two instances, “flaunting it” may only be behaving in a relaxed, natural fashion in public. In other circumstances, it may be a political decision to assert one's sexuality by wearing a T-shirt or participating in a public event. In cultures that either ignore homosexuality or deride it, stressing one's sexuality publicly can be an important act of self-affirmation.

If you worry about possible negative reactions to any behavior that identifies your child as gay, keep in mind that some gays, lesbians and bisexuals will, of course, ensor their own behavior because hey share those fears. But it is up o your child to make those decisions or him or herself.

Adapted from “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” written by PFLAG  

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