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Yes, Parents Should Know If Their Child Is Gay

Children need their parents to put boundaries around them, boundaries LGBT activists relentlessly work to remove.

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In 1998, I was outed as gay to my father by school administrators. It was late in the afternoon when I heard my name called on the intercom to go to the principal’s office. My heart sank, and I awkwardly stood up and left the class, all eyes on me. I told one person I was gay a day before and had become consumed with paranoia that everyone else now knew. It seemed I was right.

That day would forever change my life as I sat at the end of a large oval table with school administrators, a police officer, and my father at the other end, listening to them discuss what had been my most private secret only days before. It was a nightmare scenario, and one so many in my generation knew too well. It’s why those of us who grew to become LGBT activists and politicians have been so adamant about preventing schools from repeating this behavior, known as “outing.”

California State Sen. Scott Wiener announced on June 13, “Today we passed critical legislation to ban forced outing policies and ensure trans youth can decide for themselves if, when and how to come out to their parents. Forced outing puts kids at risk of violence and homelessness. Coming out is a personal decision and no one else’s business.”

State Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, who introduced the bill, recounted her own experience being outed in high school by school administrators, and argued, “Kids have a right to privacy. That’s what this bill is.”

If you had asked 16-year-old me, I would have agreed. I was terrified of what my father might do, as he was vocally opposed to gay people and was visibly upset at the meeting.

However, looking back, the school did the right thing, even if they did it in a very clumsy way. I attended a small rural school in southern Ohio and in a class of 89 students, I was quickly falling to the lower ranks in academic performance. I entered high school at the top of my class and was viewed as a promising academic achiever well into my sophomore year until everything suddenly changed.

Seemingly overnight, I became depressed and withdrawn and experienced random emotional outbursts in class. My bubbly personality grew dark, and I became defiant and disruptive. My teachers were worried, and after I had showed signs of self-harm only a few months prior, they were right to be. The truth was, I was not OK. I’d been sneaking out at night to meet men I talked to online for sex. I was hiding my entire life from my family and had become suicidal under the constant stress of what being gay meant for me.

After the meeting, I was required to attend counseling and was removed from school for a week. That counseling would significantly improve my outlook and provide my father context and support. Although I never quite recovered, barely graduating second to last in my class, being forced to confront my behavior was necessary.

Much of the argument comes from the left-wing LGBT view that parents are inherently dangerous to their children, and the school environment is the only safe place for a child to truly be themselves. Wiener, for example, described parents attempting to require schools to provide necessary information about students as “nasty people out there trying to harm us.” He declared that all kids were “our kids.”

However, most activists rely on outdated or biased surveys to make these determinations about the safety of LGBT youth. For example, many are familiar with the statistic that 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBT. This comes from a 2015 University of Chicago survey, in which 18- to 25-year-olds were interviewed over the phone and asked about their experience with homelessness.

Another cited figure is from The Trevor Project, which concluded that 28 percent of LGBT youth experienced homelessness, through an online survey that asked 13 to 24-year-olds questions like, “Have you ever slept at someone else’s house because you ran away?” Actual numbers of minors in homeless shelters do not seem to be included in these evaluations, or any data surrounding Child Protective Services or other legal actions taken by the state due to child abuse.

If a parent were to react violently or kick their child out of their home, that is already illegal, and there is no real data to support the claim of any real threat that would justify a policy. Lisa Phillips, head of youth services at the LA LGBT Center, admitted as much, arguing, “Even if parents don’t literally kick their LGBTQ child to the curb, homophobic and transphobic treatment from parents is very traumatic and causes many young people to flee the only home they’ve ever known.”

She went on to say, “Homophobia and transphobia are child abuse. And we need to take a stand and make that a standard in our country. If our child protective systems would acknowledge that homophobia and transphobia is an issue, I think we would start to see a change.”

In other words, kids are told any lack of affirmation or acceptance from their parents is essentially abuse and rejection, and they are likely to overreact and put themselves in harm’s way. We also know that for trans-identifying minors, especially girls, trans activists have gone to great lengths to bypass parental involvement and assist kids with so-called transition. For example, in 2022, Matt Walsh exposed a trans activist, Eli Erlick, publicly promoting efforts to ship hormones to minors online.

Whereas the risks associated with teenagers struggling with their sexuality could involve anything from depression and self-harm to drugs and anonymous sex with adults, trans teens have an entire virtual system designed to help them permanently alter their bodies and risk their health. Regardless of what activists believe is best for children, parents need to be aware of these risks and behaviors.

Ultimately, separating a child from his or her parents is harmful. Parents face an uphill climb in understanding what their child is going through, more than ever with the internet consuming their child’s attention. Rather than assuming parents will harm their children, the state should recognize the inherent right of parents to make decisions for their own kids.

Practically, children need their parents to put boundaries around them, boundaries LGBT activists relentlessly work to remove. I needed adults in my life to tell me “no” and keep me from harming myself. While LGBT activists, and even most medical and school authorities, insist children need room to discover and express their true selves, so-called gender identity comes with a great deal of risk and harmful behaviors that cannot be ignored.

Yes, as someone who has experienced being a gay teenager dealing with gender dysphoria, I now understand that parents should be informed as soon as these identities become visible. Parents need to be ready to protect their kids, help them through severe emotional struggles, and keep them away from outside influences that want to isolate them. That’s why kids become homeless, trapped by drugs, and involved in prostitution, and why they face such high levels of psychological distress. It isn’t parents “rejecting” them by simply being their parents and protecting them from the adult world.


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