Parents want their children to be happy, healthy, and safe. If your child comes out to you as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer), that may or may not be something you imagined or feel prepared for—but your acceptance really matters to their health and safety.
Dr. Caitlin Ryan, the director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, has conducted some of the first studies on how a family’s accepting and rejecting behaviors affect the well-being of LGBTQ children. Her research shows how families can learn to support these children—even if they believe that being gay or transgender is wrong.
One of Dr. Ryan’s studies showed that a family’s accepting or rejecting behaviors toward a young person’s LGBTQ status has significant implications for that child’s health and well-being. Young people with high levels of family rejection were eight times more likely to report having attempted suicide and nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression. Continue reading from Option B
Coming Out: A Handbook for LGBTQ Young People (The Trevor Project)
LGBTQ Resources for Child Welfare Professionals and Parents (Human Rights Campaign)
Coming Out: Information for Parents of LGBT Teens (HealthyChildren.org)
Tips for Parents of LGBTQ Youth (Johns Hopkins Medicine)