1. Make queer history part of their history.
You don’t have to wait for a child to come out to give them queer role models. Melissa Etheridge plays a twelve string guitar. Janet Mock is an activist and was the editor of People magazine’s website. Anthony Romero is the executive director of the ACLU. Teach all children about queer role models.
2. Drop trans antagonistic and homophobic attitudes and speech.
Long before a child in your life comes out to you, they will notice how you talk about transgender people and gay/bisexual/pansexual people. If you make jokes that tear down who they are, it will hurt them and their ability to trust you.
3. Fight to end queer youth homelessness.
Support the enforcement of parental neglect and abandonment laws and donate to local youth shelters.
4. Support teen access to medical care without parental consent.
From birth control to STI testing and treatment, from addiction counseling to hormone therapy, queer kids need to have safe affordable access to healthcare their parents may not like. Currently many states treat minor teens as the property of their parents and judicial bypass may be difficult or impossible to obtain.
5. Offer alternatives.
Say “if you get married someday” not when. Talk about how the story might be difference if a princess rescued the damsel in the tower instead of a prince. Let children and teens know cis heterosexuality is not the only acceptable way to be.
6. Be patient.
Coming out is a process and everyone moves at their own pace. Don’t pressure teens to come out to their families or peers. Give them the space and trust to decide for themselves when and if they feel safe coming out.