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Young people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual

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The teenage years can bring lots of change for children and parents.

Children are working out who they are, and dealing with relationships and sexuality. For some, working out their feelings towards others and whether they are gay, lesbian or bisexual might be an extra pressure to deal with.

All children and young people want to feel accepted and that they belong regardless of their sexuality. It is important that parents help them work things out in a safe and supportive environment where they feel valued and loved for who they are.

Young people and sexuality

Moving from childhood into adolescence is a time of great change for young people and their families. Changes in the brain and hormones bring about many physical, sexual and emotional changes. Exploring sexuality and how they feel about others is one of the things young people work out during this time.

The concept of who we are evolves over time. If your child tells you they’re same-sex attracted it is likely they‘ve thought about it for a long time - some say they have known all their lives. In the teenage years they work out what they are going to do about it. Others struggle with fear and confusion before they are even able to admit it to themselves. Your child is not likely to tell you they are samesex attracted and risk your rejection if they’re not sure.

For more information

To find out more about this topic we recommend that you look at the Parent Easy Guide Young people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual which has been developed by Parenting SA

  • It has information about 'coming out', why people are same-sex attracted and how parents can respond and be supportive.
  • Parenting SA is a partnership between the Department for Education and Child Development and the Women’s and Children’s Health Network South Australia.


Support for parents and families in South Australia

Parents Supporting Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in South Australia Phone 8369 0718


  • Phone Men’s worker 8202 5192
    Phone Women’s worker 8202 5805
    Free, confidential information and support for parents and family members. Bfriend Parent Volunteers can provide phone or in-person support to other parents.

Support for parents and families in Australia

Australian Human Rights Commission

  • The promotion and protection of human rights in Australia, including sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status

Gender Centre

Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Parenting SA

  • For other Parent Easy Guides including ‘Living with young people’, ‘Talking sex with young people’, ‘Children and learning about sexuality’

Support for young people


  • Phone Men’s worker 8202 5192
    Phone Women’s worker 8202 5805
    A support service for people who are coming out or who are exploring their sexual identity

SHine SA (Sexual Health Information, Networking and Education)

  • Phone 1300 794 584
    Counselling and resources for young people and parents; Safe Schools Coalition Australia which can support parents and children to talk with their school.
    • Clinics: East/West 8300 5300, South 8300 5300, North 8256 0700
    • Sexual Health Line Phone1300 883 793 (Interpreters can be arranged at no cost) Freecall: 1800 188 171 (country only)


  • Phone 1800 184 527, daily 5.30pm–10.30 pm Telephone and online chat, peer support and referral for same-sex attracted and gender diverse people of all ages

Youth Beyond Blue

  • Phone 1300 22 4636 For information on depression and anxiety in young people who are same-sex attracted

Reach out

Law Stuff

  •  Legal Information for young people including links for transgender young people

Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council

  •  Linking culturally diverse people to information and support

Kids Helpline

Metropolitan Youth Health 

Child and Youth Health (Women's and Children's Health Network) Teen Health and Young Adult Health websites.

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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