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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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Be Good Parents to LGBT Youth: Tips and Resources
When a young LGBT person comes out, it’s not just a big change for them–it can also mean a huge shift for their family. Luckily, many more parents recognize that being LGBT is far from a negative, and look for ways to support their LGBT children however they can. For many, however, the issue is knowing where to start: what should they say, what do they need to know, and how should they approach conversations about sexual and gender identity? While LGBT youth tend to have much more experience with and knowledge of the LGBT community, for parents it can often feel like diving into the deep end. So, knowing how to be good parents to LGBT youth can feel overwhelming.
LGBT youth need loving support and understanding from their parents. #LGBTparents Click To Tweet
6 Tips: Be Good Parents to LGBT Youth
There are many resources out there, some with conflicting advice for parents of LGBT youth, and the sheer amount of information can often be daunting, leaving parents wondering where they should even start looking. Luckily, we’ve assembled some of the best pieces of advice and resources for parents of LGBT youth to support their children and kickstart conversations. Be good parents to LGBT Youth:
1 Learn As Much As You Can
One common sentiment expressed by many parents of LGBT youth is not knowing enough about the LGBT community and being out of touch with what it means to be LGBT today. Thankfully, the resources you need to be good parents to LGBT youth are closer than ever. Don’t be afraid to approach local LGBT groups to ask questions, or search for information on the internet. You may be overwhelmed at first, but a little bit of research will really pay off when it comes to understanding what your child is going through.
2 Watch Your Language
There’s a whole new world of terminology and language that comes with getting to know the LGBT community. Learning these terms and distinctions can really help you to connect with and understand your LGBT son or daughter. Learn the difference between sexual and gender identity, along with what it means to be transgender and how that differs from being gay or lesbian. You’ll have an easier time communicating with your child and navigating the LGBT community. Communication is key in striving to be good parents to LGBT youth.
3 Join PFLAG
Find a local chapter of an organization like PFLAG to meet other parents whose kids have recently come out and access a wide array of resources that will help you be good parents to LGBT youth. Often, you will find parents and family members dealing with similar questions and concerns as your own, and can work together to find and share information and discuss the challenges of raising LGBT youth and navigating a lot of new information and circumstances.
4 Don’t Overdo It
Yes, your child is LGBT. No, being LGBT is not the full extent of their interests, personality, or identity. Remember that, even after coming out, your child is the same complicated and unique person they’ve always been. There will be times they don’t want to talk about gender and sexual identity or LGBT issues. It’s important that you give them space to follow other interests and talk about other subjects. Being good parents to LGBT youth means focusing on your child’s individuality.
5 Encourage and Support
Coming out to your family isn’t easy: there’s a lot of fear of rejection, along with anxiety over how your family will react to the news. In fact, the moment your child comes out is crucial. The fact that you’re already looking for ways to be supportive and understanding will go a long way toward making them feel accepted and build a trusting relationship. Encourage them to come to you to discuss anything–even difficult subjects you may not feel fully prepared for–and you’ll lay the foundation for a healthy relationship.
6 Find Local and School Resources
Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the national and even global conversations around the LGBT community, focus on getting involved at the local level. Does your child’s school have a gay-straight alliance? Are there community groups for LGBT youth? Find ways for you and your child to get involved with local and school groups, and you can find opportunities to support your child and meet other parents looking for ways to be involved with their LGBT kids.
#LGBTyouth need to feel accepted by their parents to build trusting relationships. Click To Tweet
This is far from a comprehensive list of advice to help you be good parents to LGBT youth. However, it does provide a number of ways to show support and build a trusting relationship with your child after they come out. Hopefully these first steps will lead to even more opportunities to get involved with the LGBT community and show your child your support and encouragement.
Are you a parent of a young member of the LGBT community? We’d love to hear your questions, concerns, and advice for other parents raising LGBT youth!