Our Social Group is an email list serve that was created for we GLBTIQ's to connect and support each other. In the process we have been blessed to have some straight parents of gay children join us. Please know that if you need support to understand your gay/bi/trans child, we are here for you and would love to welcome you into the family.
What To Say If Your Child Is Gay: Your First Reaction Is Critical
"Coming out" to a parent is a pivotal moment in the lives of many homosexuals, so the parent's first response will not be soon forgotten. Trouble is, a less-than-ideal initial reaction could cause lasting damage to the parent-child relationship.
A poor reaction from a parent even could make a young person who already feels socially isolated because of sexual orientation believe that he/she is completely alone, increasing the odds of depression or suicide.
I am blessed to live in Canada where gay marriage has been legal for many years. I am further blessed that gay marriage was just the beginning, and now I am seeing advancements taking place in our elementary and secondary school systems to actively teach both staff and students about the respect that every individual and family deserves. Literature has been compiled and laws have been passed to assure a healthy society which respects diversity of all kinds. Specifically I am pleased that I was granted permission to make available to you the resources that are available to us.
Ontario's Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy - Embracing diversity and moving beyond tolerance to acceptance and respect will help us reach our goal of making Ontario's education system the most inclusive in the world. We believe - and research confirms - that students who feel welcome and accepted in their schools are more likely to succeed academically. We believe that everyone in our publicly funded education system - regardless of background or personal circumstances - must be welcomed and accepted, and thereby enabled to reach their highest potential.
Questions & Answers - Gender Identity in Schools - The term 'gender' was first used in the 1950s to differentiate the set of feelings and behaviours that identify a person as 'male' or 'female', from their anatomical 'sex' which is determined by their chromosomes and genitals. 'Gender' is now understood as the roles and relationships, personality traits, attitudes, behaviours, values, relative power and influence that is attributed to males and females by society. Gender is one of the most basic elements of human identity.
Questions & Answers - Sexual Orientation in Schools - In 1996, the Canadian Human Rights Act formally included "sexual orientation" among the prohibited grounds of discrimination and in 2009, Canada marked the 40th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexual activity in Canadian law and legislation. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals (collectively, sexual minorities) now have the same rights and responsibilities as all Canadian citizens.
Library Books - A list of books which are now included in all Durham District School Board school libraries, including books for both Elementary and Secondary Schools on Sexual Orientation, Physical/Mental Ability, Gender Equality and Socioeconomic.
Canadian Teachers' Federation - is proud to release its latest educational resource, Supporting Transgender and Transsexual Students in K-12 Schools, the fifth publication in an educational series designed to assist teachers, administrators and counselors in understanding sexual and gender minority issues.
Authored by Dr. Kristopher Wells, Gayle Roberts and Carol Allan, the 57-page guidebook aims to demystify gender variance and provide evidence-based information for educators wishing to create caring, respectful and safe learning environments for all students.
Family Acceptance Project - is the only community research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to decrease major health and related risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, such as suicide, substance abuse, HIV and homelessness - in the context of their families. We use a research-based, culturally grounded approach to help ethnically, socially and religiously diverse families decrease rejection and increase support for their LGBT children.
Our team is putting research into practice by developing the first evidence-based family model of wellness, prevention and care to strengthen families and promote positive development and healthy futures for LGBT children and youth. Once developed, we will disseminate our model across the U.S. and to groups we work with in other countries.
As a parent, I had so many questions, questions like:
1) Where did this stem from? How come my son is gay?
2) How will people treat my son if they find out? Will he get called names, beat up, or even get killed like Matthew Shepard?
3) I was terrified about so many things and very protective. I worried whether he would get some disease or die of AIDS.
4) I wondered what people would say at church if they found out and would judge us to be bad parents that screwed their kid up.
We always loved our son no matter what, but it took awhile to get to the acceptance stage of knowing he was born this way and that God loved our son just as he is.
Lead With Love - Film & Survey - Strengthening Families Through The "Coming Out" Process
This is a video for parents of gay children recently produced by some folks at the University of Utah.
The psychologists in the film give four concrete suggestions for parents. They used the mnemonic LEAD for these:
Let your affection show.
Express your pain away from your child.
Avoid rejecting behaviors.
Do good before you feel good.
Watch the trailer.
Click Here to take a 5 minute survey and to see the whole film on their website. The survey is completely anonymous and requires no identifying information, and allows you to omit questions you prefer not to answer.
The movie runs for 35 minutes (well worth the time).
Response To A Mother Who Just Learned Her Daughter Is Gay - by Craig
Be patient, not only with her, but with yourselves as parents. It's OK to be upset, concerned, frightened, and worried about the 'eternal consequences' of what is happening to your family. Some of your brightest hopes and dreams for your child will need to be adjusted if you are to remain close to her. But really, all those hopes and dreams boil down to this: you want your daughter to have a happy, fulfilling life. And trust those of us who know... she really can. I think the chances of that increase greatly when we accept our true nature and then make the most of what we have been given.
One day, you may well learn that it was a great gift not only to your daughter, but to you, that she is gay. There are things as parents that you will only be able to fully learn by having this experience. Sometimes I think we gay ones are not the ones being tested at all -- no, we're the great test of you straight people: can you REALLY truly love "the least of these" who are considered outcasts in God's kingdom? I suspect it's not HER salvation on the line at all... but yours.
We gay ones are created as we are for a purpose. And that purpose is never limited only to ourselves. You have an opportunity -- a huge opportunity -- to actually live what "unconditional love" is all about. And I think you are already well on your way to truly living it with your daughter.
If only all parents were as determined to love their gay kids as you are. Sadly, that's not the experience many of us have. For many of us, at the moment of our life's greatest crisis -- coming to terms with the really hard knowledge that we're just not like other people -- that's EXACTLY when we need love the very most, and it's also exactly when many parents choose not to give it.
Take it one day at a time, and just make sure she knows you love and accept her regardless of how her orientation manifests itself in your life. And the more you can act like it is NORMAL for her to have a girlfriend/partner/wife, the more love and peace you will all feel. (I say, act like it's normal until it IS normal for you!)
I wish you all the very best in this new journey.
1) Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year-olds.
2) Suicide is the second leading cause of death on college campuses.
3) More than one third of LGB youth report having made a suicide attempt.
4) Nearly half of transgender youth have thought seriously about suicide, and
one quarter have attempted it.
5) Young gays are two to three times more likely than their straight peers to
attempt suicide, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
6) The American Counseling Association reports that nearly a third drop
out of school, largely because of harassment related to their sexual orientation.
Something MUST be done to help our Youth!
If you are a young person who is considering suicide, please DON'T!
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Things WILL get better! Write to Mary and let's talk about it, or talk to someone in the Chat Rooms. Remember that God loves you, and with His help we WILL get you through this. We are here for you and we CAN HELP! We have answers for you that you may never have considered.
Mary Lou Wallner is a "straight" Christ-follower, and totally GLBT supportive. Her lesbian Christian daughter committed suicide over 15 years ago.
After being totally NON-accepting of my daughter, because at that time I was a fundamentalist, I went on a journey after her death, of reading everything I could get my hands on about homosexuality, praying and talking with people on both sides of the issue. The result has been a 180 degree transformation of our beliefs.
I've counseled many GLBT folks and family over the past 10 years. I also do a lot of speaking all over the country, often at a screening of the documentary we are in called For the Bible Tells Me So.
See my website, TEACH Ministries which we started in 2002. The revised and updated version of my book, The Slow Miracle of Transformation, can be ordered there.
TEACH is an acronym for To Educate About the Consequences of Homophobia.
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