Whether it was daughter Max, 19, revealing she is bisexual, daughter Kat, 16, sharing—in a family text message chain—that she is a lesbian or, most recently, son Ace, 12, coming out as transgender, the couple have approached each situation in the same way. "Don't judge, listen," Terry explained in an exclusive interview with E! News' Francesca Amiker. "Don't talk."
And, most importantly, continue to ensure their southern California spread remains, as he put it, a "warm home environment that's accepting and loving and supportive."
That being said, The Real Housewives of Orange County stars—also parents to son Nick, 19—know that not everyone can reach their standards, which is why they should consider getting a ladder.
"You've got to be very careful because there's a lot of hate out there," explained Terry, who will return alongside Paul Nassif for the eighth season of E!'s Botched August 3. "So you have to be very careful to envelop them in love and support."
And that's not the only reason the pair were motivated to share just a small piece of Ace's story this past March.
"We hope that the message that we put out with our family helps those who are struggling in families that aren't so supportive," explained Terry, "and particularly in parts of the country where there's a lot of pushback on living a person's real life."
Their kids, meanwhile, "are doing very, very well," says Terry. No doubt thanks to a parenting style that has Rihanna telling them to take a bow. (Asked which Housewives mom she hoped to emulate, the singer, then expecting now-14-month-old son RZA told Elle, "Heather Dubrow is so chic while being a mom. Just love the way that she just allows her kids to be who they are.")
Raised by 1950s parents that "talked about nothing," Heather, host of podcast Heather Dubrow's World, has said, she's made it a point to create an open, inclusive, safe AF vibe at home.
"Even if she doesn't understand something, my mom tries very hard," daughter Max told People in 2022, "and she learns and teaches herself and she grows with us."
Agreed Kat, "She's asked me trillions of questions that really show she cares. She's asked me about my pronouns. It's really easy to talk to her. It's not like I have to build up courage if I have something to tell her."
Kat revealed on RHOC that she dealt "with a lot of homophobia," after coming out, sharing, "I had issues with people at school who were saying the f-slur around me and who were just not very respectful of the LGBTQ+ community."
But, for the most part, Terry told E! News, his children encounter far more love than hate.
"The kids look at social media differently than we do," he explained. "So the stuff that we all have access to, they're not seeing a lot of it, fortunately, because I think it would be much more difficult if they can see it."
Or rather, "They could see it," he continued, "but they don't follow the stuff that we follow. So the hate that's out there that hopefully will ultimately evolve and go away is not really in their world."