Her dad came out to her when she was 5-years-old, and she’s been surrounded by gay people her entire life. Now she shares her unique view of the world with others in books, television appearances, and speaking engagements.
It’s a difficult process so preparing one’s children for homophobia is often delayed as long as possible. Abigail Garner offers good advice in her book, “Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Adults Tell It Like It Is”.
She says, “Understandably, adults do not want their children living in fear of harassment or facing an onslaught of hurtful message about their families. Today, more LGBT adults are taking deliberate steps to avoid exposing their children to such fears. These families have many more options to help them feel safe and affirmed than earlier generations. When it is financially practical, LGBT adults can choose to live in a gay-friendly neighborhood. If they are in a community where there are many LGBT families, they form play groups and see one another at regular events. Some families are even able to find schools where diverse families are welcomed and gay adults are commonplace. After a while, LGBT adults who are able to find a supportive environment can let themselves believe that the community they have built around them is representative of the rest of the world. They immerse themselves in gay communities where children have the freedom to live without knowing hate. It gets easier to deny that at some point their children will have the face the reality of homophobia.
Before they send their children off to school, adults should talk to them about what makes their family different, and how some people might criticize them for those differences. While it is sad to have to introduce this reality to children, it is preferable that they hear it from their adults first, in a supportive setting, before they encounter it on their own.”
Source: “Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Adults Tell It Like It Is” by Abigail Garner, HarperCollins: Families Like Mine