I befriended parents of gay children for more than 30 years. Since that time, social and political circumstances have changed a great deal, but the core problems facing parents of gay people seem to have remained very much the same.
I am the mother of a lesbian daughter. I regret that I made the transition to acceptance much harder because I wasn't prepared, and I wasn't informed. Many years on, I feel privileged to have had the experience.
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We have a gay son. He had known that he was 'different' since he was six and we were sad that he'd had to cope alone. He was 23 when he told us. Society is now recognizing its LGBT people as citizens with equal rights and responsibilities; we continue to work towards developing that.
Anne and Joe
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Our son came out when he was 17. Like all parents, we found getting used to the idea more than strange. Our main concern was isolation, and we were worried that, unfairly, he’d be viewed as a “second class citizen”. We also worried he’d be hurt by reactions of people who mattered. We needn’t have been - he is very happy and well respected.