It is often a shock for parents and families to find out that their child is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Whether you are a grandparent, mother or a father, aunt or uncle, whether you have a son or a daughter, whether you long suspected something of the kind, or were completely surprised, finding out for sure can be a shock. The feelings that shake you are very strong and confusing. You may hardly be able to talk about it at first without tears and anger. This is normal, and you will get through it.
Families exist to provide support and love to one another. Strong families are able to work through differences, listen and respect each other’s needs, and help each member to feel safe, accepted, and loved even in difficult times.
Strong families work to value the diversity and uphold the dignity of all members. This is not always easy and often takes a great deal of time and effort especially when struggling with societal pressure. It is important to note that rejection at home has a much greater impact than rejection or acceptance gained elsewhere.
Families have the opportunity to strongly influence the health and positive development of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth.
We are hopeful that the information included on these pages will help your family fulfill this opportunity!
NOW THAT YOU KNOW
Accepting your child's sexual orientation or gender identity and educating yourself on the subject takes time. Young people often expect their parents and families to understand immediately, but many can not do this.
One thing that is crucial for you to understand is that it has probably taken your loved one a very long time to put all the pieces of their puzzle together to finally come to a place of understanding their sexual orientation or gender identity. It will most likely take you some period of time to fully understand and hopefully accept this fact too. In fact, it is often said by families that when their child "came out" of the closet, many of the parents went right in to their own closet for awhile…. meaning that they too were confused, unsure and felt like hiding from others because they needed to carry the secret. If that’s what you find yourself doing initially, don’t worry. You won’t be in that state forever. What you must do to move forward is to begin educating yourself and begin talking about it with others.
Now that you know, it is up to you to begin to understand your loved one. Keep in mind the positives! They won’t all happen overnight, but they will happen if you let them.
The "positives" include:
--No more emotional distance, hiding, half-truths, stress, anxiety and fear suffered by your loved one.
--A new understanding of and closeness to your loved one --An appreciation that your loved one is really no different than before you found out you only know one additional piece of information; your loved one hasn’t changed in demeanor, character, or ethics.
--A new understanding of human diversity and appreciation of people, some to become your friends, which you might otherwise never have come to know. We hope that these pages are helpful to you and your family in your journey together.
Idaho Falls, Boise . To contact a PFLAG chapter in Idaho, click on the following link to the National PFLAG web ...
LGBT Resource Centers of Southeastern Idaho