The most important thing to remember when someone comes out to you is that nothing significant has changed. This is the same person youíve always known and cared about!
It is okay to discuss any prejudices and concerns you may have, but don't make them your friend or family memberís problem.
Listen Let your loved one tell their story--hear the truth about who they are. Listen to what they have to say, and remember that this is the same person you have always known.
Learn There are a lot of false stereotypes about GLBT people. Some of the things you have heard might not be true. Take the time to seek out the facts, and get the real story on what it means to be GLBT. This website is a good place to start.
Think Take a moment, by yourself, to reflect on what it means to you that your loved one is GLBT--not what it means to anyone else. Just you.
Understand Are you in love with someone? Think about how it feels to love that person. GLBT people have the same feelings as straight people.
Talk Break the silence. Not talking is what allows stereotypes about GLBT people to run out of control. When a GLBT person comes out, they are facing very challenging questions. What will my life be like? Will the people I love give up on me? If you are willing to talk about the issues facing you and your loved one, you might be able to help them through their difficult time.
Hope Too many stories in the news media focus on the negative. But there is so much to be proud of. Facing these issues with dignity and respect gives everyone an opportunity to show courage, to stand up for what they believe in, to stand by the people they love and to learn to accept what they might not yet understand.
Help Take action to make things right. In a world that has much to learn about what it means to be GLBT, there is a lot you can do. Get involved in your loved one's life. Ask questions. Make yourself available. And lend your love and support.