Parent of LGBTQ+ children are often faced with an inability to talk to their kids about sex. This is how you should breach the subject with your young ones.
The topic of sex is a difficult subject for any parent to breach. When kids start showing signs of curiosity about sex and sexuality, we find ourselves facing an obstacle we never expected. How do we discuss the subject without taking away too much of their innocence, and still educating them like every parent should?
The need to discuss sexual health comes part and parcel with being a responsible parent. A lot of material tells us how we can talk about the subject with straight kids. But is it the same for children who fall in the LGBTQ+ spectrum?
A recent study by Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing found out that parents of LGBTQ+ children didn't know how to discuss sexual health with them. The study explained that parents are often unable to relate to their child's experience, which makes it difficult for parents to talk to their kids about practicing a healthy sex life.
Many parents pawn off the responsibility to their close friends or family members who fall under the LGBTQ+ spectrum instead. Sex education is something that every kid needs to have. Talking to your LGBTQ+ child about sex is not as difficult as one might think. Here's a guide to help you do it:
In many parts of the world, sexuality is a very dicey subject to breach. When your child opens up to you about their sexuality, they are showing you that they trust you. It can be a tough pill for you to swallow. In some cases, it's very difficult for parents to immediately accept their child's identity. It's very normal to feel that way. Just don't allow it to create a negative environment which makes it difficult for your child to approach you for anything else in the future. You're allowed to acknowledge your feelings, but it's also imperative to account your child's bravery for being able to discuss this with you.
If your child just came out to you, it's best if you save the sex talk for when they're ready to talk about it, also make sure that you are ready to talk to them about it. Don't jump to the sex talk immediately. It took a lot of courage for your kid to come out to you with their sexuality and it will probably take them the same amount of strength to talk about sex as well.
It's okay not to have the answer to a lot of things. That's what makes us human. If your LGBT+ child doesn't come to you with sex-related questions, it's best you breach the subject after you've done a bit of research. Talk to professionals who will be able to help you better explain certain things. Read online blogs and reach out to LGBTQ+ activists if you're looking for more in-depth answers.
The act of sex is very different for folks who fall in the LGBTQ+ spectrum. You should make it a point to understand where these differences lie before you try talking to your child about sex education.
Sex is an activity that isn't just for procreating. It's also an activity which people frequently engage in for their own satisfaction. It's human to engage in sex for pleasure as it's one of our fundamental drives. As kids, we're taught that sex results in procreation. But it's not just for making babies, it's for our enjoyment as well!
Just like how it was a big step for your child to come out to you, it's an even bigger step for them to ask you about the act of sex itself. Don't bring up the topic out of the blue. Create an open and safe environment that allows your child to freely express themselves.
We're still living in a world that isn't a utopia. There are still groups of people who stigmatize the LGBTQ+ community. Talk to your child about this and explain to them that there will be times when they are targeted for their sexuality. Your goal as a parent should be to creating a sanctuary for your child so that they can bank on you during their time of need.
Consent is a two-way street and it's something that every parent should talk to their child about, despite their sexual orientation. For parents of LGBTQ+ kids, it's very important for you to make your child understand the importance of consent. Teach them that it's acceptable to draw a line for certain things, and to respect someone else's limitations as well.
The LGBTQ+ community is more prone to the risk of infection than any other community. Talk to your child about the different infection risks that come with an active sex life. People who practice unsafe sex are more at risk to contract infections like herpes, HIV, AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases. The best way to have a good sex life is if you're safe!
Like any parent, you wouldn't want your child to rush into things without having complete knowledge. Tell your kid not to rush into anything that doesn't suit them. Tell them that they should take their time to assess their feelings about engaging in any sexual activity and that their opinions count. Tell them to take it slow.
Sex education needs to go hand in hand with a person's mental health. There is a lot of stigmas that are attached to the LGBTQ+ community. Understand that your child is at risk for bullying and discrimination. This targeted bullying can have a very negative effect on his overall well-being.
If you're a parent to a bisexual child, you have to factor in the risk of pregnancy. Talk to your child candidly about birth control. Help them explore different options for birth control. You can get a lot of reading information about this online.
Your child should take their time to first understand what their sexuality means to them. Allow them to explore the extent of their sexuality. But maintain the fact that your is an open environment in which your child is 100% allowed to candidly talk about any doubts and questions that arise.
Do you have any tips to talk to LGBTQ+ children about sexual health? Send us an email and we'll include it in the article.