Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

ASK LAMBDA LEGAL My child just came out to me. Now what?
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Currey Cook, Lambda Legal
2016-05-24

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Q: My daughter recently came out as lesbian and, while I was shocked at first, I want to be there for her and be supportive. But to be honest, I don't know where to start, or what the best resources are for more information. There is so much online, and I'm not sure what to trust. What do you recommend?

A: It's likely that it took a lot of strength and courage for your daughter to come out to you, and now it's important for her safety and well-being that you demonstrate your love and support. As the national director of Lambda Legal's Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project, I have seen firsthand the damage that can come from parents' rejection their LGBT children. LGBT youth are overrepresented in foster care, juvenile justice systems, and among youth experiencing homelessness. In fact, it's estimated that a staggering 40% of homeless youth in the United States identify as LGBT, and many of those youth have been kicked out by or run away from parents who did not accept them for who they are. I commend you for expressing your love for your daughter by accepting and affirming her.

As you may know, it's not unusual for a person to identify as LGBT—approximately one in every four families in this country has a family member who does. This means that not only are you not alone, but also that you've got a huge, supportive community around you and lots of resources at your disposal. The best place to start is your local LGBT community center. You can check Centerlink for the one closest to you. These centers can provide you and your daughter with educational resources and social events with a group of people who identify with your experience. Another excellent resource is an organization called Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays ( PFLAG ). They offer a volunteer-based peer support network and have chapters all over the country.

You might have questions, you might feel uncomfortable, or you might just not know what to say. Please know that your reactions are normal and your feelings are absolutely OK. The important thing is that your daughter knows that you love her even if you may need some time to gain understanding about this aspect of her identity.

There is actually a project dedicated to this very concept called the Family Acceptance Project. The Project's research has shown a clear link between family rejection and negative health outcomes for LGB youth. Conversely, the Project has found that family acceptance can actually lead to positive outcomes for LGBT youth, protecting them from suicide, depression, and substance abuse. The Project does a lot of work with families of faith who have difficulty reconciling their child's LGBT identity with their religious beliefs, and has assisted in connecting families of faith with affirming religious groups. They have helped families of many faiths learn to accept and affirm their children's identities. Many other programs exist within organizations around the country such as The Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit and CAMBA in Brooklyn.

It's important to recognize that while a person's identity as LGBT can sometimes evolve over time, it is not something that can be changed at will. You might hear about "reparative" or "conversion" therapy, which claim to make gay people straight or transgender people identify with their sex assigned at birth. These therapies are ineffective at best and harmful at worst. In fact, every major medical and psychological association has spoken out against conversion therapy, citing its use as leading to higher levels of depression, anxiety and self-destructive behaviors. Being LGBT is a normal part of human development and supporting your daughter means accepting her for who she is, rather than trying to make her into someone else.

I commend you for wanting to support your daughter, and I think that with time, you'll find that her sexual orientation is an aspect of her identity just as yours is and she's still that awesome daughter you raised and love. By letting her know you love and support her, you'll help guarantee she is healthy and successful.

If you have any questions, contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk at 1-866-542-8336, or see www.lambdalegal.org/help.

Currey Cook is a Lambda Legal senior attorney and Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project director.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Bennett to be new state Human Rights director 2019-01-17 - Longtime activist and former Lambda Legal Midwest Regional Director James Bennett was named by Gov. J.B. Pritzker as the state's new Department of ...


Gay News

Cook County medic says boss 'outed' him as transgender 2019-01-16 - A medical technician who works at Cook County Jail said his supervisor "outed" him as transgender in a private meeting with three colleagues. ...


Gay News

WORLD Israel medical group, India's ban, Chechnya detention 2019-01-15 - Members who perform conversion therapy could now be expelled from the Israel Medical Association ( IMA )—which represents 90 percent of the country's ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans murder, U.S. House rules, N.C. loses business 2019-01-15 - The first transgender death of 2019 has occurred, as Dana Martin, 31, was fatally shot in Montgomery, Alabama, on Jan. 6, The Advocate ...


Gay News

Pro-LGBT groups laud N.Y. measures 2019-01-15 - On Jan. 15, the New York legislature passed two pro-LGBTQ bills—the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act ( GENDA ) and a law banning so-called ...


Gay News

Deadline looms for LGBT community-needs survey 2019-01-15 - Members of the Chicago region's LGBT community have until the end of the month to take part in an extensive survey measuring the ...


Gay News

Deportation protest at Gary/Chicago Airport Jan. 18 2019-01-15 - A coalition of social justice, immigration advocacy, anti-capitalist and left-wing organizations will be gathering at the Gary/Chicago International Airport to peacefully protest deportation ...


Gay News

Anti-bullying laws including sexual orientation associated with fewer suicides 2019-01-15 - Sexual minority youth have a higher prevalence of bullying and attempted suicide than non-sexual minority youth. New research from the Williams Institute at ...


Gay News

Seventeen-year-old charged with 2018 Stanton murder according to reports 2019-01-13 - A 17-year-old has been charged with the murder of Dejanany Stanton, a transgender Chicagoan who was killed this past August. The alleged assailant, ...


Gay News

LGBTQ, allied groups urge investigation after second death at home of Ed Buck 2019-01-10 - Today, 41 LGBTQ and allied organizations ( listed below ) released the following statement to demand a thorough investigation by Los Angeles County ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.