The future generation is always important for the development and empowerment of a particular community. The queer community is not an exception in that case. It was difficult and illegal for people to be recognized as a queer in previous eras. Fortunately, things became easy, flexible, legalized, and decriminalized in the current millennial era. Hence, it must be more flexible for the upcoming generation kids to be realized, recognized, and encouraged as true queer personalities. But the current scenario is becoming restricted and rigid for them to identify themselves because of the judgmental criticism, assumptive elders and no proper awareness regarding the sexual orientations and the behavioral patterns which entangled with the gender orientations. Hence, it is the responsibility of people to recognize queer kids and make them comprehend the reality of their personalities.
What will be your reaction if your 12-year-old girl approaches you and tell you that she loves one of her girl pals so much that she can't live without her? Being a gay adult, how will you react if your brother comes to you and confesses to you that he is gay too? How will you manage to react when you get proposed by a 16-year-old teenager to have a bisexual relationship? What if you find your eight-year-old son chooses to wear tulle frocks instead of cowboy suit for a school Fest? Of course, being surprisingly shocked is one common reaction in all these delicate situations but that takes you nowhere. Therefore, one must know how to tackle these juvenile minds to guide them further in the exploration of gender identities and sexual orientations!
Stop assuming all the kids are heterosexual. Indian parents assume a lot and they come to conclusions without knowing the psychology of their children. Gone are those assumptive days. Observe the reality in this millennial era. Don't freak out at the choices of your kids. Recognize the variety of their choices. Focus on their wishes and their smiles. If a Barbie doll is bringing a smile on your four-year-old boy's face. Give it to him without asking silly questions. There's no rule that boys must play football and girls should buy kitchen toys. You need to grow up first to let your kids grow further.
If you see emotional and behavioral changes in your kid, just take some time before reacting. Instead of scolding your girl who asks you to give her a boyish makeover, ask her why she wants it and try to perceive the feelings behind her preferences, likes, dislikes, and choices. Some boys like painting their nails and some girls don't like getting into Indian ethnic wear. At starting, it may irk you off. But try to understand the happiness behind their choices. If you see your boy, happy with his manicured nails but feels awkward because of his peers, it's your responsibility to make him feel fine by saying it's okay!
Behavioral patterns, gestures, postures, dressing attires, hobbies of any kid can let an adult know the gender identity and sexual orientation of a particular kid. You don't have to conclude just because your boy imitates Beyonce, likes to wear cocktail gowns with feminine makeup, and shows his interest in a theatrical drama especially to play the role of Juliet. Try to remain calm and encourage his choices without restricting. Who knows one day he may come to you and tell you he is gay with a smile on his face and without feeling awkward and restricted, don't you think that's all you want from your kid, being honest and happy?
Observe the topics of conversations your kids want to strike with you.
Know their preferred type of clothing and how they want to get dressed up.
Understand the choices of their favorite movie stars. Because your boy may like Chris Hemsworth more than Scarlet Johansson. Your girl may drool over Dua lipa posters than appreciating any other male pop star's music.
This understanding of the choices plays a vital role in enabling you to know the sexual orientation of your child. If your boy loves to dress up as a drag queen and perform like one of the contestants of the RuPaul drag show, you may expect him to come out as an effeminate gay or transgender. If your girl habitually wears shirts and pants instead of crop tops and skirts, who knows she may take another girl as her prom date and come out as a lesbian altogether.
But their freedom of coming out of the closet depends on your upbringing. The more flexibility you show in encouraging their lifestyle choices, the more flexible they become to identify themselves and grasp the reality around them. If not, they will rot inside emotionally and fight against anxieties and depression. You don't need to be always friendly with your kids, but don't act rigidly in making them choose their choices.
There is one more hypocrisy seen in the queer community. If a person is gay then, he won't expect or can digest the fact that his sibling comes out as a queer person. There is no rule that a family must consist of one homosexual. Two siblings can be homosexuals. Hence, if you are an elder one, always understand your younger ones. Become their inspiration to lead a happy life instead of becoming a reason for their unhappiness. Just because you faced a lot of struggles with your sexual orientation, it doesn't mean your sister or brother also should go through that. You should be happy and helpful for them to guide them to cross all the obstacles and see the shine of being themselves as a queer person.
Mental health is very important. And it completely depends on the situations which a person faces in one's young age. If a kid has a happy childhood, there are chances that he can lead a better life further. If you, being a matured, educated and understanding adult, behave like an ignorant with your queer kid, it becomes difficult for him/her to emerge as a better person with a better mentality in this highly judgmental society. So, please understand and encourage the queer juveniles.
To all the established queer people, if you ever come across a confused, evolving and a curious kid or a teenager and if you find his/her choices reflecting the queer vibes, try taking some time and share your knowledge and experiences with them. This may help them a lot. Your one little conversation can make a kid come out of his confusion and at the same time, if you ignore such queer juveniles, it may make them form negative opinions on the whole queer community! Make the upcoming generation even more stronger and powerful!