Has your child just come out to you as gay (or lesbian or bisexual or transgender or non-binary or queer)? Regardless of whether they are 13 or 30, you are likely searching for information. Depending on your degree of shock, you may be seeking support, educational materials, crisis hotlines, or all of the above. Take a moment right now to take a deep breath and know that you are not alone.
Books are definitely my go-to resource and even after five-plus years on our journey, there are a few that I reference over and over again.
#1 Mom, I’m Gay
by Susan Cottrell
When Connor first came out to us I was terrified he was going to hell having been brought up in a conservative Christian home. I needed answers to that question first, before I tackled anything else, and Susan Cottrell’s “Mom, I’m Gay” literally saved me.
Susan is so relatable as she shares the story of her daughter coming out and ultimately being asked to make a decision between her church and her daughter (spoiler alert, she chose her daughter!) Her gentle yet clear guidance transitions beautifully to a straightforward study and explanation of the “clobber verses.” Be forewarned that this is eye-opening and may inspire further research (it did for me!) AND it will help you move forward on your journey with relief knowing, no, your child is not going to hell.
This is a must read for anyone who has religious concerns. Fair warning, it may have you rethinking your spirituality…in the best way possible!
#2 This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids
Dannielle Owens Reid & Kristin Russo
This was the second book I read when Connor first came out, and it is still at the top of my list of recommended reading on the subject.
It is a perfect primer and does a lovely job of prepping the reader for the next level of information coming their way. It is in a question-and-answer format so you can skip around to find answers to your most pressing questions first and then circle back to the rest of the awesome information.
Remember, it may not be a question now, but if it’s in this book, I promise it will be a question at some point! Reid and Russon do a phenomenal job of educating parents during those first few months.
#3 How to They/Them
How to They/Them is a more recent find. The saying “the only constant is change” applies to language too.
Language evolves over time, and this little gem really helps us understand nonbinary pronouns and the world of gender fluidity, something those of us who are GenX and older really seem to struggle with.
Even better?? It’s a visual guide! I invite you to grab this handy reference and go through it more than once. I had several “a-ha” moments as I read it! Knowing how to use pronouns in a respectful way – and knowing how to ask confirmation or clarification questions along the way – is such an incredible tool for any parent and/or ally.
#4 How We Do Family
I had the honor of interviewing Trystan Reese on my podcast and hearing his story firsthand. Wow!
His book, How We Do Family, is on my must-read list because woven in the beautiful storytelling are powerful lessons about stepping into one’s authentic self and learning that in order to love others fully you must first love yourself.
He shares his journey in such a relatable way, detailing everything from adoption to trans pregnancy, and all of the beautiful experiences in between.
Raising My Rainbow – Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son
I came across this book while gathering research for my own book and loved it for so many reasons. Author Lori Duron isn’t kidding about “adventures” – in addition to laughing and crying as I read, I learned so much!
I love this book for anyone who is raising a gender-creative child. It is a beautiful testament to guiding the passions and interests of your child in a very supportive, nurturing way AND the very definition of unconditional love.
Interested in more book suggestions or other helpful resources?
Head on over to my website and browse through my extensive list. I am constantly adding to and refreshing it so it is also valuable as a bookmark for support.