For Parents and Allies

Love is

 

 

The web is awash with good, bad and terrible advice for parents of LGBTQIA kids.

 

 

You can recognize bad and terrible advice quite easily.  It leaves the bad taste of hate, violence and rejection in your mouth. It has been estimated that just over 10% of people are of diverse sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity. Your child is not the only LGBTQIA in your community or even your own group of family and friends, although the others may be hidden if your community is not accepting of diversity.

Your child will likely only come out to you after much soul searching and with some trepidation. Coming out requires bravery and deserves our respect. It is critical to tell our children that we love them, that we want the best for them and we will continue to support them.

We may find ourselves upset, worried, and we may not be able to understand why this has “happened” to our child. Maybe they are mistaken or it is “just a phase” or “they are to young to decide”. It’s much better to say “This is a big thing, and I need some time to think about it, but you are my child and I love you”, than to get angry, or try to persuade them why it would be a “bad choice” to become LGBTQIA.

You don’t get to choose your child’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender presentation and it is rare for people to “choose” their child’s sex. Your child doesn’t choose to be transgender or gay either.

This diversity is not a disease nor a moral fault. The science is still developing and more is known about gay men than others in the diversity spectrum. Current science suggests sexual orientation and gender diversity are aspects of core identity formed by complex uncontrollable influences, most of which occur before birth.  There may be some environmental influences after birth, but these environmental influences are do not appear to be socially acquired factors.  There is no substantial evidence that parenting types or early childhood experiences affect orientation.  (See Wikipedia.)

Also this diversity cannot be “cured”. So-called conversion therapy has been discredited by science and has been deemed unethical in the USA and UK. (See Wikipedia.) Unfortunately, this dangerous therapy is still practised by a few people in Australia.

I just need

 

 

Loving, accepting, supporting and advocating for our children is the most significant thing parents and friends can do to help them grow, blossom and stay alive.

 

 

Yes, there are some scary statistics around being LGBTQIA in a world where homophobia and transphobia still exist, but that world is gradually becoming better and safer. You can become part of that change for good.

PFLAG Brisbane

has some great booklets which are a great starting point. You can download them onto your computer, or you can contact them to have the booklets sent out to you.  It also has meetings for parents and friends of LGBTQIA people to provide support and information as well as a Facebook page.

PFLAG Toowoomba

has a some hard copies of the PFLAG Brisbane Booklets; contact us for copies.  We also have a Facebook page, and we are happy to facilitate informal meetings so parents, family and friends of LGBTQIA youth can talk and share their experiences and information. (You are not alone!)

PFLAG Ipswich

is an active group with social activities.

Open Doors Youth Service

This website is a great first port of call for young people and their parents to find out the basics of what it means to be LGBTQIA.

Something in Common

is a part of the Australian Human Rights Commission and has some information and videos about homophobia. We recommend you watch the two videos on their page.

The Safe Schools Hub

provides some good resources for parents with school age children, but is worth reading no matter what stage your child is at. This program is about all aspects of school safety, not just LGBTQIA issues.

Parents of Gender Diverse Children, Gender Help for Parents Australia and the Gender Centre (Annandale, Sydney)

have good information for parents, plus they run “secret” Facebook groups for parents to interact and support each other. There is a specific Queensland “secret” Facebook group for parents of gender diverse kids. Please contact PFLAG Toowoomba for more information.

SB Gender Alliance

in a Safe Zone in the South Burnett and online for LGBTQI people.

Rainbow Families, Queensland

is a group supporting LGBTQIA people who are parents or thinking of becoming parents.

Positive Images

is a US group that has a question and answer page for parents.

The Pinnacle Foundation

provides scholarships and mentoring for disadvantaged LGBTQIA students.