Ask Kari: Should I get a therapist to help “fix” my gay daughter?

Dear Kari,

My 17 year-old daughter thinks that she is gay. She had been hanging out with a new female friend who is gay, and apparently they have begun a “relationship”. I am beside myself, we are a Christian family and this is against God’s beliefs. I have forbid her to see her friend. At this point, I am hoping that her reading scripture everyday will change how she feels. Do you think a therapist can fix her?

Broken Hearted Dad

Dear Broken Hearted Dad,

It can be hard to accept when our child is different from how we imagined them to be. But, the reality is that each and every person is an individual who must live their life as close as to who they feel they are in their heart. Although your daughter may be gay and involved with another female, she is still your daughter. Her heart, her spirit is the same child that you have loved and raised to be a good person. Because she may be attracted to women and eventually end up being involved with a woman as her permanent partner, that doesn’t change her core character. I recommend that you offer her your love and support her as she goes through the process of becoming an adult and learning who she is along the way. While I respect your faith and religious beliefs, I do not think that God loves your daughter any less because she might be gay. I equally want to emphasize that reading the bible does not make someone change who he or she are drawn to as mates, such thoughts have caused much harm to individuals in the LGBTQ community as well as permanently harmed many family relationships. Your daughter does not need to be “fixed”, she needs parents who stick by her side during a normal period of development and tell her that they love her no matter what.


As published in the September 2013 issue of Connections.


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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