Parenting Tips and Resources for Raising a Happy and Healthy LGBTQ+ Child
Parenting can be the most rewarding experience of a lifetime, but to say it also has its challenges would be an understatement. Most parents worry about everything from their child’s health, educational development, emotional well being and so on. When a child comes out to their parents as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it often introduces a new set of concerns. While LGBTQ+ rights have advanced, there still is widespread ignorance and discrimination towards the community, which worries parents. In this blog post, we’ll share a couple of tips and resources to help you when it comes to raising a happy and healthy LGBTQ+ child.
Never Say “I Always Knew”
Authors of This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, Danielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo, urge parents never to say “I always knew” when their child reveals their sexual identity. Although as a parent you may have speculated that you were raising a gay or transgender child, saying that you “always knew” can diminish their personal journey of becoming comfortable enough with their sexual identity to come out. It can also make them question their appearance and behaviour in ways that can be very harmful.
Explore Issues or Concerns About Their Physical and Emotional Well-Being
Regardless of a child’s sexual orientation, most parents have concerns about bullying – both physical and emotional. This concern is amplified when a child comes out an LGBTQ+ because their peers can lack the acceptance and maturity to support those that are different from them. It’s important to address any issues or concerns you may have with their school administration, coaches, and any other relevant community leader.
Educate Your Child and Family
It’s essential to know that various resources are available in the city to provide guidance, including The Calgary Sexual Health Centre, which has specific counsellors that work with LGBTQ+ youth and their families. Here at Fairy Tales, we are passionate about supporting LGBTQ+ youth in the community, which is why we have created programming like the Youth Queer Media Program (YQMP). YQMP is open to any youth 16-24 years of age. The program gives queer youth an opportunity to share their unique perspective through an artistic avenue.
No parent has all the answers about how to raise an LGBTQ+ child, but resources are available to support you. We’re always here to aid members of the community and provide a safe and caring space for them to discuss their concerns. Contact us today!