teens holding gay pride flag

How Can I Support My LGBTQ+ Teen Who Just Came Out During Gay Pride Month?

We know you want to support your teen and help them navigate adolescence with as little difficulty as possible, and if you have an LGBTQ+ teen who comes out during Gay Pride Month, you may want to know how to best support them during this life-changing process.

The first thing you need to know is that there’s a word for people who support members of the LGBTQIA+ community: ally.

That’s what you want to be: an ally.

And the best time to learn to be an ally is during Gay Pride Month.


Pride Month is a month-long, nationwide event designed to raise awareness and increase understanding about the LGBTQIA+ community for people who aren’t LGBTQ+, and for people who are LGBTQIA+, Provide Month is a time to celebrate, connect, be out, come out, express themselves, and overall show pride in who they are and how they want to live their lives.

Pride Month began after the Stonewall Riots rocked New York City in June of 1969. The Stonewall Riots occurred near The Stonewall Inn, a popular meeting place for members of the LGBTQ+ in Greenwich Village, New York City. Although groups for LGBTQIA+ people existed in the U.S. before Stonewall, it’s widely accepted that the events that summer led directly to what we call the gay pride movement in the U.S.

As we mention above, the best way you can support your LGBTQ+ teen – who may have just come out during Pride Month – is to be an ally.

The Importance of Being an Ally

As the parent of teen member of the LGBTQIA+ community, embracing the role of ally is critical. Teens who come out need all the support they can get during the coming out process. Despite how far we’ve come as a nation and as a culture, we’re not at a place where everyone supports members of the LGBTQ+ community.

in fact, on the eve of Pride Month last year, The White House issued a statement endorsing Pride Month in June 2023, and called attention to the following facts:

  • In 2023, state and local legislatures introduced over 600 new laws targeting and discriminating against members of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Local authorities have banned books about LGBTQ+ people.
  • In some states, teachers aren’t allowed to acknowledge the reality of same sex parents, i.e. a family with two moms or a family with two dads
  • Some states have placed restrictions on drag shows and prevented libraries from participating the cultural phenomenon of Drag Queen Story Hour – or similar events – where people dressed in drag read stories for public audiences.
  • Several states have placed significant restrictions on necessary health care for transgender youth.

Based on these circumstances, we have an important message for you:

If your teen is LGBTQ+ – especially if they just came out – they need you, now more than ever.

When you support your LGBTQ+ teen, and act as an ally, what you’re really doing is supporting the freedom to be who they are and love who they want to love. Here’s how the White House describes this connection:

“Our collective freedoms are inextricably linked: when one group’s dignity and equality are threatened, we all suffer.  This month and every month, let us celebrate the pride that powers the movement for LGBTQI+ rights and commit to doing our part to help.”

How to Be an Ally and Support Your LGBTQ+ Teen

Your teen needs you as an ally because LGBTQ+ teens experience challenges teens in the gender and sexual majority don’t have to face. These challenges include:


People may judge your teen negatively when they come out, and treat them differently than their peers.

Social isolation

Other teenagers who aren’t allies may attempt to exclude your teen from social events and interactions.


LGBTQ+ teens are at increased risk of being bullied by peers, teachers, and adults out in the world. In addition, LGBTQ+ youth are at risk of targeted, anti-LGBQIA+ violence.

Mental Health Disorders

LGBTQ+ teens are at increased risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, and are at increased risk of developing an alcohol or substance use disorder (AUD/SUD).


Research shows that LGBTQIA+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than non-LGBTQIA+ peers, and recent data indicates close to half of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide in 2023, with the highest rates among transgender and nonbinary teens.

That’s why you need to support your LGBTQ+ teen: out in the world, things won’t always be easy and people won’t always understand or accept who they are. Therefore, you need to be an ally: that’s your first step.

And your first step as an ally is to learn the words and the letters. Yes, all of them, and no, it’s not hard at all. First, let’s define what it means to be an ally:

An LGBTQ Ally is a person who supports the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ allies can be heterosexual and/or cisgender, and often support LGBTQ civil rights, transgender equality, and are often against societal discrimination against LGBTQ people. Anyone can be an LGBTQ ally. No matter how an LGBTQ ally shows their support, knowledge about the LGBTQ community is important for all allies.

To support your LGBTQIA+ teen and be a sincere ally, learn all the terms on the list in the following section, and be ready to use them in conversation with your teen.

How to Support Your LGBTQ+ Teen: Words Matter (And So Do Pronouns)

We adapted this helpful glossary of terms from information provided by the Youth Pride Association (YPA). We cannot stress enough how important it is to know the language and the words that help define your teen and help them understand more about who they are and how they feel.

YPA Glossary Of Terms an Ally Should Know


An ally is someone who supports members of the LGBTQ community (see above).


A person who’s asexual feels no sexual attraction to other people, or very little sexual attraction to other people, and no desire to act on it if present.


A bisexual person experiences physical, romantic, emotional, and/or sexual attraction to more than one gender/gender identity. In some cases, a bisexual person may identify as pansexual.


Some whose gender identify is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth.


A man who experiences physical, romantic, sexual, and/or emotional attraction to men.


Gender refers to the social constructs associated with biological sex. Social gender constructs exist for both men and women. Collectively, they’re the social and cultural roles, norms, and common expectations typically associated with being a man or woman.

Gender Attribution:

The gender assigned a person related to perceived gender and gender norms.

Gender Expression:

The specific way in which an individual expresses their gender identity. Gender expression may occur in various ways, but most often occurs in choices related to physical appearance, such as clothes and hairstyle, and behavior, such as speech and mannerisms.

Gender Identity:

The way an individual understands and experiences their own gender.


An individual who experiences physical, romantic, sexual, and/or emotional attraction to individuals of the opposite gender identity or gender.


A term that describes individuals with reproductive anatomy and/or genetic characteristics that are not typically male or female.


A woman who experiences physical, romantic, sexual, and/or emotional attraction to women.


Acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer. The “+” represents individuals who are seeking, searching, and unsure of their gender and sexual identity. You may also see the letters “I” and “A” in the acronym LGBTQIA+. In that context, they stand for intersex and aromantic/asexual.


This term describes individuals whose gender identity is neither man nor woman. Nonbinary people might identify as male, female, in between, or entirely outside the man/woman binary. Some nonbinary people prefer the term genderqueer.


Anyone who does not identify as cisgender and heterosexual.


An individual in the process of discovering their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Sex assigned at birth:

The sex recorded for a person at birth on official records, based on external anatomy.


A person whose gender identity doesn’t align with their sex assigned at birth.


The process transgender individuals experience to align their gender/sex attribution with their gender identity.

We’re serious about learning the terms: if you do, your teen will notice you made the effort, and it will make a big difference. It’s tangible evidence that what matters to them matters to you. When they see working to understand who they are and how they navigate the world, it gives them an important emotional and psychological boost.

Now, about the pronouns.

How to Support Your LGBTQ+ Teen: Pronouns Matter A Lot

Most teens know most adults over say, age 40, think the focus on getting pronouns is an unimportant, unnecessary hassle. But listen up, parents:

They really matter to almost all LGBTQ+ teens.

That’s why you need to learn to use they and them for a nonbinary person, and you also need to be ready for the potential addition of new pronouns to refer to non-binary people, especially if you want to support your LGBTQ+ teen, and they come out as nonbinary.

Pronouns you’re probably used to:

  • She, her, her, hers, and herself
  • He, him, his, his, and himself
  • They, them, their, theirs, and themselves

Pronouns that function in place of those, for nonbinary people, are known as neopronouns:

  • Ze/zie, hir, hir, hirs, and hirself
    • Instead of the she pronouns
  • Xe, xem, xyr, xyrs, and xemself
    • Instead of the he pronouns)
  • Ve, ver, vis, vis, and verself
    • Instead of the they pronouns

If you make a mistake, don’t worry: as long as you learn what a person wants to be called and call them by the name and pronoun they want, you can correct yourself and use the right name and pronoun moving forward. In addition, if your teen or a friend of theirs transitions, remember to use the name they choose that matches their identity. If you use their old name, it’s called deadnaming, which is considered disrespectful and offensive when done on purpose.

Like with pronouns, a mistake once or twice with a new name is okay, and people will understand. However, if you insist, for whatever reason, on using the old name, you’ll degrade trust, and the person you deadname will likely avoid you in the future.

About Coming Out: Lead With Love

Over the past several years, The Trevor Project has become one of the most reliable, forward-thinking, comprehensive, and compassionate online resources for LGBTQ+ youth. What began as a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing suicide and supporting LGBTQ+ youth in crisis has become a clearinghouse for information on the LGBTQ+ community, a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth, an active advocacy organization, a research organization, and the perfect place for parents to go to learn about everything LGBTQ+.

If you want to support your LGBTQ+ teen after they just came out or as they’re thinking about coming out, we strongly advise reading The Coming Out Handbook. Consider this: in the section covering practical advice about who to come out to, they include a series of questions that may hit home for you, as a parent.

Here’s what they tell teens thinking about coming out to ask themselves:


Who do I feel safe with?
Do I feel comfortable sharing this important thing about my life with this person?
Who in my life has my back no matter what?
Who in my life builds up my confidence?

Then they list the people that – based on extensive surveys – LGBTQ+ teens say are most likely to be safe and make them feel comfortable:

  • Friends and classmates, online or IRL
  • Sports teammates, members of the same school clubs/activity groups, online peers in safe online communities
  • Doctors, counselors, teachers, co-workers
  • Family members, caretakers, parents, siblings, cousins, neighbors
  • Religious/spiritual leaders

So what about that might hit home?

You Can Be the Support They Need

We’re thinking it’s the fact that family and parents are the next-to-last bullet point on the list. We’re making an assumption here, but we bet you want to be first on that list. You want your teen to feel safe and comfortable with you, and hope they do. You want them to feel like you have their back no matter what, and hope they know that.

Now ask yourself: are you that person?

We have a tip about how to be that person: unconditional love, compassion, and understanding will win the day every single time. We’ve offered insight on what an ally is, why LGBTQ+ youth and teens need allies, how you can be an ally to your LGBTQ+ teen if they just came out. We also gave you a glossary to memorize and some rules about language usage and pronouns.

All that is important. Really important.

But all of that pales in comparison to the one thing they really need from you, which we mention above but is well worth repeating:

Your LGBTQ+ teen wants you to see and know them for who they are – their true selves – and the best way to do that is to offer them your unconditional love and support when they come out.

Your love, understanding, and acceptance are the most powerful protective factor against stigma, isolation, bullying, and mental health issues that are more prevalent among LGBTQ+ teens than teens in the gender and sexual majority. When your teen has a solid foundation at home, and they’re surrounded by people who build them up, make them feel safe, and make them feel strong, then coming out and living out won’t be so scary.

And if people out in the world hassle them, they know exactly where to go to recharge and reset: home.