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How to Accept an LGBTQ Person
The LGBTQ+ community has a wide variety of people of varying orientations and identities- from sexual and romantic orientations to binary and nonbinary gender identities. As the community gradually comes more into light, it will become more likely that you will personally know an LGBTQ+ person. It can be difficult for some, but here are some steps on how to accept them.
Managing Your Initial Reaction
Don't get angry.This is not something they chose, but rather is a part of who they are. They can't help it and you being mad will also not change it.
Avoid feeling as if they should have told you sooner.It takes a lot of courage to make such a revelation and the fact that they are telling you now means that they trust and respect you! It's possible that they just realized this about themselves, or it's possible that they were just not ready to tell you.
Be supportive.Pat them on the back, hug them! Show them some love.
Educate yourself.Read about LGBTQ issues in your country- legal and social battles. Read blogs written by LGBTQ people. You may have initial biases, but try to drop them while you are reading. Avoid reading only one viewpoint.
- If you have a faith-based objection, look into the teachings of supportive members of your religious community (such as supportive priests) and the viewpoints of religious LGBTQ people.
Think about whether this impacts you.Most likely it will be a no but in certain situations (such as if you wanted to enter a relationship with the person) it could be a yes.
- If the answer was no, understand why you shouldn't treat them differently now. Nothing has changed for you, so think about why anything should change for them.
- If the answer was yes, think about why you wanted to reject the person. Did it have to do with personal beliefs? Why should your personal beliefs affect this person? Did it have to do with an end to a potential relationship? Think about whether you want to maintain a friendship with this person, or if you want to cut ties.
Don't ignore them after their coming out.Losing a friend based on what you can't control is a terrible thing. Maintain contact with them and play cool: Remember your relationship with the person hasn't changed because the person is still the same.
- Don't forget that a person's sexual orientation does not affect personality. Your friend is still exactly the same!
Support your friend.Although their personality will not have changed because they came out, you have to understand that there are certain challenges LGBTQ people face that other people don't. Try to help your friend get through these challenges. For example:
- If they want you to meet their significant other: take that positively! Be nice! Gender should not affect judgement.
- Correct people when they make a bigoted remark. Oftentimes people say homophobic or transphobic things without realizing it, and sometimes LGBTQ people feel unsafe correcting them. If someone says something like "That's so gay" or uses the wrong pronouns, correct them and explain why that's wrong.
- Stick up for them. If someone makes a bigoted remark to them (or a physical attack), defend them and try to stop the harassment.
- Go with them to doctors' appointments, if they ask. Trans people, especially those who are transitioning, often have appointments related to hormones, surgery, and other things. These can be stressful, and a friend is sometimes greatly welcome. At the same time, understand that these are highly personal and you should not insert yourself to a place where you are not welcome.
Don't get affected by homophobia and transphobia around you.
- Again, acceptance is the key! Love your friend and accept them.
- Read articles about the LGBTQ community and get to know them better.
Be willing to change.Most people (even LGBTQ people) have biased and bigoted views. They may correct you, or tell you that you are doing something wrong. Listen to them, and try to modify your behavior and speech. Don't take it personally!
QuestionWhat if your church and family hates LGBT+ people?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you're a young person, try to find a local LGBT+ youth group. You can get some support there and they might be able to advise you on a more inclusive church. With your family, you might just have to give it some time and stay away from the most toxic people. It's difficult, but there are people out there who will understand and accept you.Thanks!
QuestionMy 12 year old friend came out as bisexual. Her family is extremely confused and angry, how can I help her?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell her you are always there for her if she needs to talk about it. Remember that it sometimes takes time for someone to accept a family member's new identity. Keep being there for her, you sound like a good friend.Thanks!
- Don't be afraid to talk to them about their relationships. Treat them the same way you would a non-LGBTQ person- and if that involves asking about their significant other, do it.
- Love them like you always do.
Video: A Church Where LGBTQ People Are ACCEPTED AS THEY ARE!
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