October 11 is National Coming Out Day. For many LGBTQ+ people, coming out involves sharing their sexual orientation and/or gender identity for the first time. Young people in search of support in their identities can contact The Trevor Project’s TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 or by texting START to 678678.
On National Coming Out Day we send messages of hope to all the teens and young adults coming out to their parents.
But as a mom myself, I have a message for those parents: this day is for you too.
Here’s what you need to know: it’s all going to be okay.
No, it’s not just going to be okay, it’s going to be great.
This isn’t everyone’s story, but it’s my story and it can happen for your child too.
My family were incredible.
My devoutly Catholic mother took a second to wrap her head around the news that I had a girlfriend, then her big emotions came when she finally blurted out, “But I want grandkids!”
A quick reassurance that I still wanted kids (and that it was possible) put her fears to rest.
My dad was great, my girlfriend’s family (now my legal in-laws) were saints, my extended family were supportive. I even got a card from my Aunt Peg that said CONGRATULATIONS and she penciled in “on being gay!”
My bosses never batted an eye.
My parish and priest have always treated me the same.
My friends took it all in stride.
Maybe I’m just really lucky, but this all happened in the late 90s and things have only gotten better.
My wife and I have been together more than 20 years, our kids are in middle school and family is the center of our world.
Parents, when your kid tells you they are gay, you worry -- you don’t want your child to suffer.
But suppressing their true self is suffering of the highest magnitude.
How wonderful that they have the self-confidence and self-awareness to know their truth and trust you with it.
As my Aunt Peg would say, “congratulations on having a gay child!”
National Coming Out day is also the day your child tells you how very much your love and approval matter to them.
It’s all going to be okay.
No, it’s not going to be just okay, you are going to make it great!
Becky Worley is a technology correspondent for ABC News and "Good Morning America" who has been covering technology since 1998.