How to support homosexual friends and family when you do not support the lifestyle

20 Dec

There is a very simple way to support gay friends and family members and that is to just do it! Not everything in life needs to be complex and require a manual with companion DVD and twelve step program to be carried. The fact is if you supported a person before you knew they were gay there is no reason under the sun not to support them when they come out or you learn of the information for the first time. In fact, you should be even more supportive and loving of them then.

A person being gay is no reason to stop loving and supporting them, at least it isn’t a logical reason to do so. People do hings we disagree with all the time on any variety of levels, yet somehow we still include them in our lives and suffer no ill effects from it. Parents with children that have committed murder often still love and support them. Spouses who have seen their partner cheat on them, actually visually witnessed it, have remained loving and supportive of that person that violated their trust. How did they do it? They forgave them and just went on with life.

Accepting a gay person even when you do not agree with homosexuality is even easier because they unlike the above examples have done nothing wrong which actually hurt or violated anyone. They are just gay. You don’t need to forgive them, they just need to accept they are the same person they always were, except now you know them better than did before.

Family is always your family whether you like them or not. We all have family members we don’t like or agree with, but somehow find a way to get along with and support when they need it. We do this because we do love them as a family member. You have to remember there is a difference between like and love, and love is always the trump card. Likewise if you liked a person enough to count them as a friend before you knew they were gay and depended upon and trusted them, on some level there is love there as well. You don’t just throw that out over a disagreement.

So how do you actually do this? You get beyond your preconceived notions of what a gay person is or is not and just accept the fact that although you have differing sexual orientations you are both people. You are each significant to each other and that means more than something as trivial as a personal difference that in all honesty has no bearing on the quality of your own personal life. You open up your mind a little bit and talk to them about it. Try to understand why you disagree with homosexuality. maybe you change your mind, maybe you don’t, but either way you just keep being a friend. Friends and family always disagree about something and still get along right?

If it helps, write down the name of every friend and family member that you love and support and then write down everything in their life you disagree with. Then compare that list to your gay friend or family member and see how in the grand scheme of things it is no big deal. Once you have done that you pick up the phone, give them a call and keep going on with life as you always have. No being supportive of one aspect of a persons life does not mean you cannot support that person. Once you realize that you can support them with out any hesitation or guilt.

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