When Jamie Lee Curtis won her first Oscar earlier this year, her speech included an acknowledgement to her daughter Ruby, who came out as transgender. Later in an interview, she went on to say, This life is about love. Being a parent is about love, and I love Ruby. Love her. People have said, 'You're so great to accept her love.' What are you talking about? This is my daughter, this human being has come to me and said, 'This is who I am.' And my job is to say, 'Welcome home.' I will fight and defend her right to exist to anyone who claims that she doesn't. Curtis is among a handful of other celebrity mothers, such as Charlize Theron, who have supported their children, who have chosen to come out as transgender.Although parents are becoming increasingly open to the idea of their children finding an alternate sexuality or gender identity, it is not necessarily an easy journey. To support them against societal approval and your own conscious and subconscious biases might seem like an uphill task at first. But theres no reason to lose heart.Karishma Erraballi, Parenting Coach and Founder of Soulkatha says, My first suggestion to a parent who is struggling to support their childs identity and their sexuality is to become comfortable in their own skin about the LGBTQIA+ community. This essentially means, are you fine with your child being who they are? Do you know enough? What books should you be reading? What support groups should you be joining? And most importantly, are you really listening to your child with an open mind and heart? The second one is to be cognizant of the fact that if your child has the exposure, he/she/they are going to explore their options, and that is okay. They dont have to identify and be attached to that identity - until they are really ready. As caretakers, we just want an end, a sense of closure and a path to know where we are going but in reality, this is more of a journey than a destination.According to the Ipsos LGBT+ Pride 2023 survey conducted among more than 22,500 people, an average of 9 per cent of adults across 30 countries identify as LGBT+, with sharp generational differences. Gen Zers are about twice as likely as Millennials and four times as likely as Gen Xers and Boomers to identify as bisexual, pansexual/ omnisexual, or asexual. Among other findings, there was widespread support for protecting transgender people from employment and housing discrimination, but divided views on other pro-transgender measures. Across the 30 countries surveyed, 3 per cent of adults identify as lesbian or gay, 4 per cent as bisexual, 1 per cent as pansexual or omnisexual, and 1 per cent as asexual.Erraballi adds, If your child is struggling, chances you are too. And that means, getting help is necessary. Speaking to someone about how you grew up and how this is challenging for you will help you support your child better. This is not an easy path for your child because everyone wants to be within the norm. Every human wants to fit in. Not belonging to the majority makes them feel insecure, moody, act out, non-communicative, rebellious and more. Knowing that it is difficult for your child helps because a lot of parents think their child makes these choices and is only guarded around them. But in truth, your child is dealing with being different and is internally struggling, which makes them even tougher to deal with than regular teens - who are already every parents nightmare age!Addressing health inequities by 2030 is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and in a crucial consultation on public health, the LGBTQIA+ community was identified as one of the 12 groups least represented in health equity research in India.Says Karishma, Please get help: arm yourself with research, support groups and mental health professionals with heart and courage to allow you and your child to find a path that is unique to you. To really be there for your child, you must accept them for the unique individual they are, no matter how they identify sexually. Its not an easy road, but once you accept and flow, in a light-hearted way, it gets smoother.Psychologist Devika Nagpal says, If you support your childs self-expression, thats half the battle won. What they choose to wear, their hair, makeup, the kind of room they want to keep, all of this is part of their identity. If you are dismissive of these choices, it could lead to low self-esteem, depression, insecurity and other mental health problems. You can also ensure your child has access to other LGBTQIA+ resources and support groups. This way, they feel theyre not alone, and also learn how to navigate hostile and unfriendly environments from people whove already been there, done that.She adds, The teenage years are very challenging to begin with, and this added layer of uncertainty makes it very hard for children to come to terms with their own identity. They also worry about what you will say and how you will react. As a parent, when a child turns 11 or 12, or sometimes even as early as age 8 or 9, keep doors open to these conversations. Let your child know that you love them, and will be non-judgemental and accepting no matter what. It is important for them to receive that affirmation and familial support. You must educate yourself during this period as well so that you are able to deal with it thoughtfully.Over the years, the LGBTQIA+ community has been represented in an insensitive manner in films and other media. There are also incidences of mistreatment and bullying at schools and colleges. Although that is changing, and policymakers globally are slowly acknowledging that the rights of the community need to be protected, you may not always be able to protect your child from the harsh judgement and discriminatory behaviour of those around them. However, knowing that they have your backing and approval will enable them to go out into the world, feeling liberated.