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Gay Life/Coming out to children


My partner and I have been together for almost 6 yrs. We have two children, both boys, ages 3 and 7. Recently, I mentioned I feel we should talk to our oldest about us being gay. He knows we are in a relationship, knows we are girlfriends, but I'm not quite sure he understands what gay means exactly. How should we go about "coming out" to our child?

Hey there Nic

Apologies for taking so long to respond.

The ages between 6 and 10 is very critical in a child's growth.  It is in these years that they form a 'personality'.  I think it would be a good idea to teach your boy about relationships and different kinds of love (a girlfriend, a granny, a friend...), and it doesn't even have to be about being a gay couple even.  The basics should be fine.  You would be surprised as to how easy they pick up on what love is, and what it means!

It's always better to ask them to figure things out by themselves, with their own frame of reference, and to aid in this, you would ask guiding questions.  Something like this: You know we are girlfriends, right?  Do you know why we are? ... Yes, because we like to be together.  And do you know that we like each other so much, that we even love each other?  That is why we are called girlfriends.  Sometimes when two people love each other, they call each other girlfriend if you are a girl, and boyfriend if you are a boy! .... etc etc.. :-)

You don't have to share the nitty gritty about being gay, I think, but you should focus on the fact that two people can love each other no matter if they are boys or girls, or mixed boys and girls.

I would like to share with you this video I found a while ago on YouTube:

It shows you how kids can react to gay couples.

Hope this helps somewhat!


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Adriaan Pretorius


Any questions on how to come out, handling people close to you, handling the pressures of being gay in society, going out, seeking a partner, etc. are welcome. I live in South Africa and may have a unique perspective on gay live, as gays do not live openly and have been scorned for a long time here. If you need to speak to someone, and no one wants to listen, I will try my best to be a friend when you have none.


I am a gay male who have lived the life as someone that had to hide it from everyone for a long time until coming out some years back. I know how it feels to be 'in' and 'out' and have had diverse experiences in relationships. I have had friends who hated gay life, gay bashers, friends who understood me.

I have a postgraduate degree in Science. I have worked together with and currently work with homosexual and heterosexuals in my environment.

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