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Question
Why does my child have to announce his homosexuality to everyone?

PFLAG's Answer
Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are often accused of "flaunting" their sexuality when they "come out" as gay, when they are publicly affectionate with a same-sex partner, or when they wear gay symbols and T-shirts or participate in gay pride parades. In a world that still assumes all people are heterosexual, "coming out" is the only way gay, lesbian, and bisexual people can make their sexual orientation known. And coming out is often considered a positive way to avoid societal invisibility that can lead to internalized self-hate or lack of self-esteem. You may be uncomfortable with your child's public displays of affection with his or her same gender partner. Bear in mind that many couples -- straight and gay -- often show affection publicly because they feel love and appreciation for their partner. But stop and think -- are you as uneasy about heterosexuals showing affection in public? In these two instances, "flaunting it" may only be behaving in a relaxed, natural fashion in public. In other circumstances, it may be a political decision to assert one's sexuality by wearing a T-shirt or participating in a public event. In cultures that either ignore homosexuality or deride it, stressing one's sexuality publicly can be an important act of self-affirmation.

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