If the Orlando shooting happened when I was still in the closet, I'd be scared to come out because I'd think I could be the victim of a gay hate crime.
My biggest fear of coming out was getting bullied and harassed by peers and other homophobic people.
I was lucky enough to be raised by accepting parents but I know that's not the case for everyone.
If you suspect your child is gay, it's never been more important to nurture and love them more than you've ever loved them before.
Right now they're scared, shameful, and fearful. They have legitimate reasons to be so.
There are still homophobic nut-cases who could beat them up at school or put them in emotionally harmful situations.
When I was a senior in high school, another teenager hacked into my Facebook account to change my orientation status to gay. I wasn't out yet and this experience tore me to pieces inside. I had to explain to everyone that I was straight and I cried myself to sleep several nights in a row after the incident.
People are still cruel and will do crazy, obnoxious things to hurt those of us who are gay.
Regardless of whether or not your child is out, you need to love them more than ever before because there are still hostile people who hate gay people.
What should you do to love your children more than every before?
Give your child a hug.
Tell them he is special, talented, unique, and loved.
Explain how you accept your child no matter what.
Go over and beyond to help him love and accept himself.
Find the humor in being gay, but not in a way that's demoralizing.
Show your child that you care about him because you never know what could happen the next time he ends up the target of a hate crime.
Max DuBowy is a best-selling author and writer for the Huffington Post where he teaches families and gay men how to break free from stress and anxiety. Are you ready to love yourself unconditionally, make friends, and be confident? INSTANTLY DOWNLOAD HIS FREE SELF ACCEPTANCE CHECKLIST RIGHT HERE.