Young people who are gay or lesbian or bisexual are increasingly confiding in their parents. As new equality legislation and signs of changing attitudes in Northern Ireland have given confidence to young people in this situation, organisations such as Cara-Friend and The Rainbow Project have encountered more young people who are struggling with their sexual identity. Groups such as Gay & Lesbian Youth Northern Ireland (GLYNI) are helping to empower these young people. Usually these young people want to confide in their parents, but fear the possible reactions.
LGBT organisations are also contacted by parents and carers who think their child might be gay or lesbian, or by those whose child has already ‘come out’. Some parents react with shock, some with concern, and others with acceptance. But a common feeling is not knowing how best to handle the situation, and how best to support their child. Practical information for parents and carers in Northern Ireland has not, so far, been widely available. We hope that this booklet will help parents in this situation find some of their answers. Every parent’s experiences and reactions will be different