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Practical resources for supporting my LGBTQIA+ child

May 03, 2022

Practical resources for supporting my LGBTQIA+ child
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  • Although our world has come a long way in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s still common for LGBTQIA+ children and adults to face struggles that can make them feel isolated and unaccepted. That’s why as a parent of an LGBTQIA+ child, it’s essential to make sure your child feels loved and appreciated for exactly who they are. 

    In the article below, we’ve gathered the best practical online resources for supporting your LGBTQIA+ child. Many gay, bisexual, and transgender children aren’t able to list their parents as parts of their support systems. If you’re reading this, know you’re already taking a wonderful step to ensure your child receives the support they deserve.

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    Importance of support

    Making sure your LGBTQIA+ child feels supported is necessary to ensure their emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. All children require this to flourish, however, LGBTQIA+ kids face a unique set of circumstances that include discrimination, marginalization, and rejection, requiring extra support from their loved ones in most cases. 

    A 2018 report by the Human Rights Campaign found 77 percent of LGBTQIA+ teens felt down or depressed, and 70 percent felt worthless or hopeless within the past week. In addition, only 26 percent reported feeling safe at school, and 67 reported hearing negative comments from family members about the LGBTQIA+ community.

    It’s apparent that the LGBTQIA+ children and teens of our world are in need of better support as discrimination, and the mental health issues that come along with it, continues. The support from loving and accepting parents goes a long way in building a confident foundation within. Keep reading for resources on how to give your kids just that– because they truly deserve it.

    PFLAG

    Founded in 1973, PFLAG is the first and largest organization for LGBTQIA+ families and allies. PFLAG provides support to families of LGBTQIA+ kids to learn how to be better and more supportive parents. You can join one of PFLAG’s 400 national chapters with online meetings to get involved and learn how to affirm and advocate for your LGBTQIA+ loved ones.

    PFLAG also has a variety of on-demand, online courses for educating oneself on becoming a better ally. These courses include “toolkits” for supporting bisexual individuals, understanding transgender and nonbinary folks, and more.

    The Trevor Project

    The Trevor Project is one of the largest organizations for supporting LGBTQIA+ youth. The suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization not only connects youth in need with mental health counselors but also has a great catalog of resources for parents and kids alike. These resources include, “How to support transgender youth,” “How to support bisexual youth,” “Understanding gay identities,” and more.

    The Trevor Project also now has an online community for LGBTQIA+ youth ages 13-24 called TrevorSpace. This international community allows young people to connect with new friends online in safe moderation. Finding one’s loving, accepting community as an LGBTQIA+ individual is an important part of one’s mental and social wellbeing.

    Child Welfare

    The Child Welfare Information Gateway is an online resource for connecting parents with info on how to help their children thrive. The site has an extensive section of resources on LGBTQIA+ and transgender youth support. These resources include how to best talk with your kid(s) about issues they may deal with, such as discrimination, mental health, etc.

    The site also has tips for parenting LGBTQIA+ youth, understanding gender diversity, getting healthcare access for your child, guides for caring for foster kids and adopted children, and how to advocate for LGBTQIA+ loved ones.

    My Kid is Gay

    This excellent digital resource is for helping parents and families understand their LGBTQIA+ children through advice, Q&As, and videos. The site has dozens of articles addressing specific problems LGBTQIA+ kids encounter with their parents. There is also a section of personal stories from LGBTQIA+ kids and teens, allowing parents to better understand their child’s identities and how their behavior can impact their children.

    My Kid is Gay also offers an “E-Care Package” for parents with newly-out LGBTQIA+ children that delivers resources straight to your inbox on how to care for your child. The site also has a page full of definitions of queer terms, called “The Defining Series.” Here you can learn exactly what the terms pansexual, deadnaming, dysphoria, and more mean.

    The Human Rights Campaign

    The HRC advocates for the rights of all marginalized groups of people, including the LGBTQIA+ community. The organization has resources specifically for parents of LGBTQIA+ children to learn how to support their loved ones. The site offers guides for helping your transitioning child while in school, keeping kids safe online, supporting gender-nonconforming kids, and more.

    The Human Rights Campaign is also a great resource for staying educated on LGBTQIA+ rights in the U.S. and worldwide. It’s important to stay educated on legislation that may affect your child, such as the Equality Act.

    Trans Families

    Transgender children are especially in need of a support system, particularly when navigating a transition in school. The nonprofit organization Trans Families is dedicated to helping transgender people and their families. They have a parents support group for both English and Spanish-speaking parents. Getting involved in a group like this is a great way to learn more about helping your transgender child thrive.

    The site also has great practical resources for assisting your trans child with legal issues, healthcare access, and school systems. They also offer a great list of books, including guides for parents and transgender-inclusive fiction books for trans kids.

    Scarleteen

    For parents with LGBTQIA+ teens, navigating the sex talk might now seem like foreign territory. Although you want to keep your teen safe, you might not know where to start. Luckily, Scarleteen, self-referred to as “sex ed for the real world,” is the perfect site to get information on inclusive sex ed to share with your child. 

    Keep in mind that when it comes to LGBTQIA+ sex talks, many important topics remain the same, such as consent, STDs, healthy relationships, periods, and pregnancy for some children. The Scarleteen site can help your kids navigate these topics and more in non-awkward, safe ways, rather than getting false info from peers or online.

    Self-education

    As a parent of (an) LGBTQIA+ kid(s), it’s important to educate yourself on topics and current events affecting the LGBTQIA+ community. Some important topics to educate yourself on include:

    • LGBTQIA+ rights and laws in your country/state. Laws protecting the LGBTQIA+ community vary state by state. Learn about your child’s protections in your state and stay aware of changes that may affect them.
    • Discrimination in healthcare, school, work, and housing. Although much progress has been made, discrimination toward the LGBTQIA+ community is still rampant. Learn the realities of discrimination and how to support your child if facing it.
    • Gender and sexuality spectrums. Understanding the spectrums that are gender and sexuality can help you better understand your child, and thus be better equipped to support them.

    Learn more with HER

    HER is the dating app for connecting LGBTQIA+ women and nonbinary and transgender individuals. The HER blog is also a great resource for LGBTQIA+ teens and adults for advice and education on LGBTQIA+ dating, relationships, rights, health, and more. The HER app is perfect for finding one’s local queer support system; download HER today to get started.

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    Katie is a writer and creative person based in Seattle who is passionate about the arts, environmental justice, and all things vintage fashion. She celebrates queerness as a natural yet radical state of being, and she strives to make the world a more inclusive place for all. You can find her taking meditative strolls in the rain forests of the Pacific Northwest channeling her inner Bella Swan, or just on IG @ktmarieeee.

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