A parent’s guide to supporting LGBTQ+ children

EEsther August 28, 2023 4:46 PM

This piece is dedicated to helping parents better understand and support their LGBTQ+ children. As a parent, your understanding, acceptance, and support can significantly affect your child's mental and emotional health. This guide will provide you with knowledge, resources, and actionable steps to create a safe and accepting environment at home.

Understanding your LGBTQ+ child

Being LGBTQ+ means that a person identifies as either Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, or Plus (other non-binary identities). Understanding this is the first step towards supporting your LGBTQ+ child. Educate yourself about the LGBTQ+ community, their rights, and the issues that they face.

Communication is key

Open and honest dialogue can help you understand your child's experiences and feelings. Let them know it's okay to express themselves and that you're there to listen. Be patient and allow them to share at their own pace.

Providing emotional support

Parental support plays a crucial role in the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth. Affirm their identity and assure them that their feelings are valid. Show them unconditional love and acceptance.

Creating a safe space at home

A safe and inclusive environment at home can help your child feel comfortable expressing their identity. Be mindful of your language, actions, and attitudes. Encourage other family members to do the same.

Advocating for your child

Stand up for your child in situations where they might face discrimination or prejudice. Let them know that you're there to protect and support them.

Here are a few resources that can help you further understand and support your LGBTQ+ child:

Resources What they provide
PFLAG Support groups for parents and families of LGBTQ+ individuals
GLSEN Educational resources about LGBTQ+ issues
The Trevor Project Resources for mental health and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth
Human Rights Campaign Information on LGBTQ+ rights and advocacy

Remember, every child's journey is unique. As a parent, being there for them, providing them with love and support, and standing beside them can make all the difference.

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