Happy Coming Out
I "came out" to my parents in 1990, a few months before I went to University. It wasn't a particularly good time to do so (negative attitudes towards homosexuality increased during the 1980s according to the social surveys I've looked at.) My parents were supportive, although that night there were tears in the Odana household. And it took months, support groups and a number of self-help pamphlets before they really accepted it.
Nowadays, coming out is perhaps a little easier for gay and lesbian teenagers, but I still don't think it's easy. Both Craig and Kemal came out on Big Brother (although their parents must have been blind and deaf with IQs in the negative figures to have not worked it out previously). Both were worried about the reaction of their parents, although seeing video messages reassured them that everything was OK. "We love you no matter what" was the gist of the messages.
While this is certainly better than "I don't want to hear about it!" or "You need therapy", saying "I love you no matter what" is still a rather half-hearted response. Instead, coming out should be turned into a special occasion, a sign of maturity and a cause of celebration. A kid who comes out should receive presents and cards and have a party thrown for him or her (with a delegation of cuties from the local LGB youth group invited). The date should be celebrated annually as the person's "Coming Out Day". (since 2000 National Coming Out Day in the UK is October 7th apparently, and October 11th in the US - which co-incides with most people's first couple of weeks at University, so there's still plenty of time to prepare).
It is a good sign then, that Clinton Cards recently launched a range of gay anniversary and birthday cards (although no coming out card as yet). It would be great if future generations of gay and lesbian people viewed their coming out as a lot of fun, rather than an over-long "very special epsiode of Blossom" as I view mine.