Ask Dr. Jillian: “How do I navigate family gatherings when my family isn’t supportive of my gay teenage son?”

Raising Teens |

My teenage son recently came out as gay. Our immediate family and friends are extremely supportive and accepting, however our extended family isn’t. My son’s grandparents have a traditional view of male/female genders and don’t “believe” in the LGBTQ+ community. When holidays and birthdays roll around and we’re all together, how do I support my son without igniting a huge conflict in the family and offending my parents?

Your #1 responsibility is to be there for your child. Taking caring of, supporting, and providing unconditional love to your son take precedent over pleasing your parents and extended family. Look to your son for guidance here: talk with him about how he would like to navigate special family events. Take his lead and do what he wants to do. Do not do anything that enables homophobia in any way. If your parents ask you about your recent absences at family events, clearly communicate with your head held high that your son is your #1 priority and you will do whatever it takes to fully support him.