Ask an expert

26 Jul 2005

Gay Parents
Hi, I was hopeing to get some advice. I used to be married, i have 2 wonderfull children. I've been devorced now for 3 years. My kids have met my bf, not that have ever seen us "together". they love him to death and visa versa. ok so my question is, how does one go about telling the mother of your children that their father is gay? and how do you explain and answer questions that all curious 6 year olds have? (my daughter, not asking yet)
have any of you got some real life advice? i really want to tell my ex, we have a fantastic relationship now. we really get on now. all my family and friends know about me, its only her left to tell. i'm worried that she will try to stop me from seeing the kids once she knows. i know she cant do that, but you never know.
please help.
Answer 639 views
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Gay parent,

Thanks for your posting.

I think it is imperative that you have that chat with your ex-wife. Don't frame it as "the children's father is gay" - this is a case of "I am gay". The fact that you're a father is secondary in this conversation. It's about you as a person. You mention that you have a 'fantastic' relationship with your ex-wife - part of a fantastic relationship is about being really honest. Of course you're assuming that your ex-wife doesn't already know that you're gay.

Don't underestimate children - they're often more perceptive than you think. Children are also less judgemental than adults. When children are anxious about a parent being gay it is often about their fear of losing that parent. Be very reassuring, and don't make a huge issue about being gay. Be prepared to answer their questions without being too explicit.

Your wife cannot deny you fair access to your children purely on the grounds of your sexual orientation.

Parenting as a gay couple can be challenging - the family needs to develop a set of roles that aren't based on traditional gender-determined parenting roles, and may need to cope with elements of prejudice. Two gay parenting groups will commence in Cape Town soon - one for men, one for lesbians. Application forms are available on the Triangle Project website (

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
32% - 9476 votes
68% - 20323 votes