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Is my child gay (gay, lesbian)? Will my child change gender, how should I behave? What should I worry about sexual identity development?

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Is my child gay (Gay, Lesbian)? Will my child change gender, how should I behave? What should I be worried about about sexual identity development?

Dear Parents,

Today, the news of gender reassignment has started to worry parents. Parents who are afraid that my daughter will decide to be a boy or my son will be a girl, have started to worry about the gender of their children. So, are you right to worry about this? In what situations should you worry about your child? Can your child really change gender afterwards?

Before explaining these issues, it is necessary to explain some concepts related to sexuality and gender.

What is Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality?

Sexual orientation is used to mean the direction in which an individual’s sexual impulses are directed. This direction is usually classified based on the type of people the individual finds sexually attractive. The most commonly used classes of sexual orientation are straight sex (heterosexuality, sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex), homosexuality (homosexuality, attraction to people of the same sex), and bisexuality (bisexuality, attraction to people of the opposite sex).

Homosexuality is a person’s sexual, emotional interest and desire (sexual orientation) towards people of the same sex. A person who voluntarily engages in sexual relations with a person of the same sex, regardless of their sexual role, is considered homosexual (Source:

Homophobia is irrational hatred, fear, dislike, or discrimination against homosexuals or homosexuality. In its broad sense, it also includes LGBT people of other sexual orientations.

Is sexual orientation determined at birth or does it change later?

First of all, sexual identity and gender orientation is a controversial issue. While many studies emphasize that gender orientation is determined from birth, some researchers argue that environmental factors are effective and living conditions are effective in gender selection and sexual orientation. However, the most respected institution, APA (American Psychological Association), has accepted that sexual orientation is determined at birth.

Can I prevent my child from being Gay?

In other words, if a boy’s sexual orientation is towards “boys”, it will come out in some way and reparative therapy will not work to prevent this orientation. If the child does not have such an innate orientation, you do not need to stink that your boy is interested in girls’ toys. In other words, the child’s sexual orientation will not change because the girl plays with toys.

In short, you may need to worry about my child behaving like a girl or a boy, or if your child’s orientation is certain, you do not need to try to prevent this orientation. There are three reasons for this. First, you cannot change an innate orientation with an outside influence. Secondly, instead of accepting this situation, making an effort on something that you cannot change will negatively affect your child’s psychology. Third, homosexuality is not a mental illness according to the APA and WHO.

So, is it a disease for your child to have the same sexual orientation?

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed homosexuality from its “Guidelines for Mental Illness Diagnosis and Statistics” in 1973. The APA’s position today is that homosexuality is one of the “positive and normal” variants of people’s sexuality, in line with objective and well-planned scientific studies and clinical literature. According to the APA, the reason why homosexuality was seen as a mental illness in the past is because professionals working in the field of mental health and the public were biased about it.

On January 1, 1993, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from the “International Classification of Diseases”. The ICD-10 article states that “sexual orientation alone cannot be considered a disorder/disease” (Source:

For more information on this subject, you can access scientific information and research from CETAD (Sexual Education Treatment and Research Association)

What should you do if your child’s sexual orientation is same-sex, that is, if your child is homosexual?

This is a very controversial topic. In general, due to the reaction of the society, some young people are afraid and hesitant to explain this to their families. If you are in doubt about such a situation, you should talk to your child about it. If you have learned that your child is gay, both you and your child should receive psychological support for a while. Although this situation is not considered a disease, your child may feel excluded due to the approach of the society. Since it will not be an easy situation for you as a parent, you should also get support and be informed about how to approach your child. You can consult the Sexual Education Treatment and Research Association (CETAD) for support groups on this subject.

In which behaviors of your child should you get support for sexual identity development?

Behaviors that you should be concerned about your child’s sexual identity development;

– Especially boys prefer to play with girls more often, and your girls prefer to play with boys more often,

-Boys play excessively with girls’ toys, prefer girls’ clothes and accessories, and girls prefer boys’ toys and play with boys,

– If your boy says “I want to be a girl”, if your girl says “I want to be a boy”,

– If you observe different behaviors such as the boy prefers girls’ clothes and girls prefer boys’ clothes, you should get the support of an expert pedagogue without wasting time.

I have explained the issues that worry parents the most about sexual orientation and development of sexual identity. In short, the development of a child’s sexual identity is very important. During the child’s development process, parents’ observation of their children’s development and consulting a pedagogue in behaviors that are not seen as normal will prevent problems that may occur.

Specialist Pedagogue Sevil Yavuz

Child and Adolescent Psychologist

Lecturer, Play Therapist

Parenting Skills & Counseling Center