PFLAG - LGBTQIA Healthcare Guild

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For Parents with LGBT Children - from the American Academy of Pediatrics: Sexual Orientation & Adolescents


The overall goal in caring for youth who are or think they might be gay, lesbian, or bisexual is the same as for all youth: to promote normal adolescent development, social and emotional well-being, and physical health. If their environment is critical of their emerging sexual orientation, these adolescents may experience profound isolation and fear of discovery, which interferes with achieving developmental tasks of adolescence related to self-esteem, identity, and intimacy.17,18 Nonheterosexual youth often are subjected to harassment and violence; 45% of gay men and 20% of lesbians surveyed were victims of verbal and physical assaults in secondary school specifically because of their sexual orientation

Parents, Friends, Family of Lesbians and Gays (LGBT) Brochures


The PFLAG Store has inexpensive pamphlets, brochures, and other reading materials for topics ranging from parents with an LGBT child, spouses who have recently come out as LGBT, Faith and Spirituality, and more....

Parents, Friends, Family of Lesbians and Gays (LGBT) Action Network (Activism)


You can help PFLAG move equality forward in
just 5 minutes! That's all it takes to learn about an issue and send a letter to Congress or the media....

Parents, Friends, Family of Lesbians and Gays (LGBT) Guide to being a Straight Ally

More straight allies -- people with no "immediate" connection to GLBT people, like a sibling or child -- are coming out as openly supportive of equality. These voices are critical in achieving fairness for all. However, straight allies often face different challenges in their coming out process and in determining the best ways for them to be effective advocates.....

Parents, Friends, Family of Lesbians and Gays (LGBT) Support for Straight Spouses


More straight allies -- people with no "immediate" connection to GLBT people, like a sibling or child -- are coming out as openly supportive of equality. These voices are critical in achieving fairness for all. However, straight allies often face different challenges in their coming out process and in determining the best ways for them to be effective advocates.....

How to Talk with Kids about Sexual Orientation and Prejudice - Mental Heath America

“What Does Gay Mean?” is a new anti-bullying program designed to improve understanding and respect for youth who are gay/lesbian/
bisexual/transgender (GLBT). Centered on an educational booklet, called “What Does Gay Mean?” How to Talk with Kids About Sexual Orientation and Prejudice, the program encourages parents and others to communicate and share values of respect with their children.... Online brochure for talking with preschoolers, children, and teenagers about their sexual orientation and the effects of prejudice.
 

Parents, Friends, Family of Lesbians and Gays (LGBTQ and Straight Allies)


Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original ally organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, and straight allies uniting with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education and advocacy. Now in its 40th anniversary year, PFLAG has over 350 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities and rural areas in all 50 states....










Parents, Friends, Family of Lesbians and Gays (LGBTQ and Straight Allies) Free Publications

Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People. One of our most popular publications, this is a "must read" for parents who are forming new and honest relationships with a loved one who has come out to them. This booklet answers several commonly-asked questions about having a gay child. It includes a list of related resources.

Download a one-page summary of
Our Daughters & Sons.

Be Yourself: Questions and Answers for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth. Today's youth face more social pressures than ever, especially since young people are coming out at increasingly younger ages. This publication offers a supportive approach to common questions asked by teens who may be questioning their sexual orientation. It also provides hotline numbers for teens and a list of resources.

Download a one-page summary o
f Be Yourself.

 

Faith in Our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk About Religion and Homosexuality. Discovering that a loved one is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can pose new questions about your faith and may prompt you to re-evaluate beliefs that you previously took for granted. By using personal experiences, this publication provides examples for reconciling your faith with the knowledge that a loved one is gay. includes an updated list of gay and lesbian religious and spiritual groups to watch out for.

Download a one-page summary of Faith in Our Families.
Welcoming Our Trans Family and Friends. Welcoming Our Trans Family and Friends is a resource for parents and friends of transgender and gender non-conforming adults and youth. This guide will help answer some of your questions and concerns. This publication provides information, resources and strategies on creating a safe space for transgender and gender non-conforming family and friends, as well as addressing your own feelings.

Se Tu Mismo. This is the Spanish translation of PFLAG's publication, Be Yourself. The book is a great resource for Spanish-speaking youth and families.



 

 
PFLAG Faith Field Guide (exclusively available online, in PDF format). Download the new PFLAG Faith Field Guide: Chapter Structure, Program and Activity Ideas for Outreach to Faith Communities.



 

Opening the Straight Spouses' Closet. Finding out a spouse is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can be difficult. Questions about sexual orientation, fidelity, self-esteem and fear often go unanswered. This recently updated and expanded publication provides insight into issues facing spouses, including coping stages, identity crises, concerns about children and support avenues.


A website for conversation about families and what it feels like to have a parent come out.
 

Parents, Friends, Family of Lesbians and Gays (LGBTQ and Straight Allies) - Frequently Asked Questions


How can I get support after a LGBT loved one has come out to me?

PFLAG offers local support and education all across the country. Members in PFLAG chapters know what you’re going through and can help. You may be experiencing an array of emotions such as grief, guilt, and denial, and you could be facing new questions about your relationship with your LGBT loved one. Whatever your reaction, remember that your loved one is sharing one part of his/her identity with you and is ultimately the same person as yesterday.


>> Locate a PFLAG chapter near you now


How are sexual orientation and gender identity determined?

No one knows exactly how sexual orientation and gender identity determined. However, experts agree that it is a complicated matter of genetics, biology, psychological and social factors.  For most people, sexual orientation and gender identity are shaped at any early age. While research has not determined a cause, homosexuality and gender variance are not the result of any one factor like parenting or past experiences. It is never anyone's "fault" if they or their loved one grows up to be LGBT.


If you are asking yourself why you or your loved one is LGBT, consider asking yourself another question: Why ask why? Does your response to a LGBT person depend on knowing why they are LGBT? Regardless of cause, LGBT people deserve equal rights and to be treated fairly.


Is there something wrong with being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?

No.


There have been people in all cultures and times throughout human history who have identified themselves as  lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Homosexuality is not an illness or a disorder, a fact that is agreed upon by both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association in 1974. Being transgender or gender variant is not a disorder either, although Gender Identity Dysphoria (GID) is still listed in the DSM of the American Psychiatric Association. Being LGBT is as much a human variation as being left-handed - a person's sexual orientation and gender identity are just another piece of who they are. There is nothing wrong with being LGBT - in fact, there's a lot to celebrate.  


Discriminatory laws, policies and attitudes that persist in our schools, workplaces, places of worship and larger communities, however, are wrong and hurt LGBT people and their loved ones. PFLAG works to make sure that LGBT people have full civil rights and can live openly, free from discrimination and violence.


>> Learn more about how PFLAG works on legislative issues and education issues on behalf of LGBT people and their families.



Can gay people change their sexual orientation or gender identity?

No – and efforts to do so aren’t just unnecessary – they’re damaging.


Religious and secular organizations do sponsor campaigns and studies claiming that LGBT people can change their sexual orientation or gender identity because there is something wrong. PFLAG believes that it is our anti-LGBT attitudes, laws and policies that need to change, not our LGBT loved ones.


These studies and campaigns suggesting that LGBT people can change are based on ideological biases and not peer-reviewed  solid science.  No studies show proven long-term changes in gay or transgender people, and many reported changes are based solely on behavior and not a person's actual self-identity. The American Psychological Association has stated that scientific evidence shows that reparative therapy (therapy which claims to change LGBT people) does not work and that it can do more harm than good.


>> Learn more about why these efforts are so harmful and get the facts now.



How does someone know they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender?

Some people say that they have "felt different" or knew they were attracted to people of the same sex from the time they were very young.  Some transgender people talk about feeling from an early age that their gender identity did not match parental and social expectations. Others do not figure out their sexual orientation or gender identity until they are adolescents or adults.  Often it can take a while for people to put a label to their feelings, or people's feelings may change over time. 


Understanding our sexuality and gender can be a lifelong process, and people shouldn't worry about labeling themselves right away.  However, with positive images of LGBT people more readily available, it is becoming easier for people to identify their feelings and come out at earlier ages.  People don't have to be sexually active to know their sexual orientation - feelings and emotions are as much a part of one's identity. The short answer is that you'll know when you know.



Should I talk to a loved one about his or her sexual orientation or gender identity before the person talks to me?

It’s seldom appropriate to ask a person, "Are you gay?”  Your perception of another person’s sexual orientation (gay or straight) or gender identity (male or female) is not necessarily what it appears.


No one can know for sure unless the person has actually declared that they are gay, straight, bisexual, or transgender. PFLAG recommends creating a safe space by showing your support of LGBT issues on a non-personal level.  For example, take an interest in openly discussing and learning about topics such as same-sex marriage or LGBT rights in the workplace. Learn about LGBT communities and culture.  Come out as an ally, regardless of if your friend or loved one is LGBT.


Read PFLAG’s Dos and Don’ts for Friends and Families to get some tips should the “coming out day” happen.  Your ultimate goal is to provide a safe space for your loved one to approach you when he or she is ready without fear of negative consequences. 



How do I come out to my family and friends?  

There are many questions to consider before coming out.  Are you comfortable with your sexuality and gender identity/expression?  Do you have support?  Can you be patient?  What kind of views do your friends and family have about homosexuality and gender variance?  Are you financially dependent on your family?  Make sure you have thought your decision through, have a plan and supportive people you can turn to.  Just as you needed to experience different stages of acceptance for yourself, family and loved ones may will need to go through a similar process. 


PFLAG was founded because of the unconditional love of parents for their gay children.  Your loved ones will need time to adjust to your news, the same way you may have needed time to come to terms with yourself.  However, true acceptance is possible and happens every day, especially with education and support.   


Today's youth face more social pressures than ever, especially since young people are coming out at increasingly younger ages.That's why PFLAG created Be Yourself: Questions and Answers for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth a coming-out guide which provides a supportive approach to common questions asked by teens who may be questioning their sexual orientation.  It also provides hotline numbers for teens and a list of resources. Also consider talking to someone from your local PFLAG chapter for more personalized tips and support.



Can gay people have families?

Yes!  LGBT people can and do have families.  Same-sex couples do form committed and loving relationships. In the United States many same-sex couples choose to celebrate their love with commitment ceremonies or civil unions, although these couples are not offered the rights and benefits of marriage.  More and more LGBT couples are also raising children together, although state laws on adoption and foster parenting vary.  And of course, many LGBT people have the support of the loving families they were born into, or the families that they have created with their other friends and loved ones. As the saying goes, all it takes is love to make a family.


>> Interested in learning about how you can advocate to overcome barriers to LGBT people having families? Get more info here.



How can I reconcile my or my loved one's sexual orientation with my faith?

This is a difficult question for many people.  Learning that a loved one is LGBT can be a challenge if you feel it is at odds with your faith tradition.  However, being LGBT does not impact a person's ability to be moral and spiritual any more than being heterosexual does. Many LGBT people are religious and active in their own faith communities. It is up to you to explore, question and make choices in order to reconcile religion with homosexuality and gender variance. For some this means working for change within their faith community, and for others it means leaving it.


PFLAG offers a number of resources in this area, including our Welcoming Faith Communities project and our publication, Faith in Our Families.   



Why should I support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality?

LGBT rights are not special rights.  PFLAG works to achieve equal civil rights for all people, including our LGBT loved ones.  Our LGBT children, friends and family members deserve the same rights as our straight ones. However, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is still legal in many states, a LGBT person can be fired from their job simply because of who they love or how they express their gender, same-sex couples cannot legally be married in the majority of states in the United States, LGBT youth face constant harassment and abuse in schools across the country, and it is clear that  the road to full equality and acceptance is a long one.


Because of all of these realities,  PFLAG needs you to stand up and join us in our work to move equality forward. 


Your loved one needs you to take a stand for fairness.  By being open about yourself and your family you are already helping to dispel misinformation and fear.  You can take the next step by joining PFLAG as we support, educate and advocate for a better world.




Resources for Families Learning to Accept a Gay Family Member


LEAD with Love Documentary for Parents of LGB Youth

"What do I do if my child is gay?" Lead With Love is a 35-minute documentary created to help answer that question. Our goal is to provide comfort, information, and guidance for parents who have recently learned that their son or daughter is lesbian, gay, or bisexual. The film follows four families as they share their honest reactions to hearing that their child is gay, including the intense emotions, fears, and questions that it raised. Interviews with psychologists, teachers, and clergy provide factual answers to parents' most commonly asked questions, as well as concrete guidance to help parents keep their children healthy and safe during this challenging time. If you are a parent of a gay, lesbian, or bisexual child, we applaud your courage in looking for resources to help support your family. This film was made for you. If you are someone else who cares about these issues, we hope that you will enjoy this entertaining and informational film, and share it with others. Thank you for your interest.


Family Acceptance Project

The 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.


The Gay Dad Project

The Gay Dad Project is an on-line forum geared towards family members who grew up or currently live in a heterosexual-appearing household where one parent has come out as being gay.  The blog is focused on sharing stories in order to connect with others who may have similar experiences.  It also provides encouragement and support for family members learning how to process their perceptions of a parent’s sexual identity, learning how to deal with the social prejudice or homonegativity, and how to remain supportive to both parents as they navigate changes in their relationship.


PFLAG Transgender Network (TNET)

While PFLAG provides support, education, and advocacy for the whole LGBT community, PFLAG’s Transgender Network – or TNET – specifically focuses on support for transgender people and their parents, families, and friends. It provides education on some issues unique to the transgender community, and focuses on issue advocacy to ensure equal rights for the transgender community at local and national levels. PFLAG is proud of its status as the first national LGBT organization to officially adopt a transgender-inclusion policy for our work, and through TNET we continue to honor this important commitment.


TransYouth Family Allies, Inc.

TYFA empowers children and families by partnering with educators, service providers and communities, to develop supportive environments in which gender may be expressed and respected. We envision a society free of suicide and violence in which ALL children are respected and celebrated.


Gay Parent Magazine

Gay Parent magazine (GPM) is a newsprint magazine featuring personal stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) parents from across the country and around the world. Parents speak candidly about their experiences with international and domestic adoption, foster care, donor insemination, using a surrogate and what it is like to raise their children in their part of the world.


Family Pride Coalition

We envision a future where all families, regardless of creation or composition, will be able to live in communities that recognize, respect, protect, and celebrate them. We envision a country that celebrates a diversity of family constellations and respects individuals for supporting one another and sustaining loving families.


Latter Day Saints (LDS) Family Fellowship

Family Fellowship is a volunteer service organization, a diverse collection of Mormon families engaged in the cause of strengthening families with homosexual members. We share our witness that gay and lesbian Mormons can be great blessings in the lives of their families, and that families can be great blessings in the lives of their gay and lesbian members. We strive to become more understanding and appreciative of each other while staying out of society's debate over homosexuality. We seek to put behind us all attitudes which are anti-family, which threaten loving relationships, and which drive family members apart.


Parents of Gay Children

If you are a parent that has just found out your son or daughter is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender and are now feeling shocked, unsure, isolated or many of the other emotions we parents feel when we first discover our childs sexual orientation or gender identity, (that is different to ours) then this site will be invaluable to you.


Atticus Circle

Atticus Circle educates and mobilizes straight people to advance equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) partners, parents, and their children. Atticus Circle provides information about the rights of parents and partners denied on the basis of sexual orientation. We seek to create cultural and attitudinal change by helping people understand the unique challenges and discrimination same gender couples and their families face, and by encouraging acceptance of all families and partnerships.


Fortunate Families

Fortunate Families ministers primarily with Catholic parents of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) daughters and sons. We believe when parents explore and value their stories, they are empowered to share that story with their family circle, their faith community and the larger community.


Transfamily

TransFamily is a transgender support group in the Cleveland, Ohio metropolitan area. We hold regular support group meetings in Cleveland and Akron that are open to everyone. This in inclusive of all transgendered subcategories, e.g.  FTM, MTF, cross dresser, gender bender, questioning one's gender or orientation, etc. Family members, friends, parents and spouse are welcome at the meetings. Please see regular meetings for the meeting schedule. Our web site has two primary functions. First, it is to provide basic information about the Transfamily support group and information about our meetings so that you may attend. The second function of this site is to maintain a list of resources, primarily medical, in the Northeast Ohio area relevant to transgendered people.


Transparentcy

TransParentcy's mission is to support the Transgender Parent, and their advocates (lawyers, mental health professionals, friends, family) by providing information and resources to diffuse and/or disspell the myths about any adverse impact being transgendered/transsexual might have on one's children. We feel very strongly about the preciousness of the relationship between child and parent, as we do that one's gender identity has little to do with one's parenting skills. TransParentcy was founded March 2001 to fill the void of information and resources for transgender parents and their children. We offer a comprehensive list of resources - information, organizations and providers - addressing the issues a Transgender Parent faces. TransParentcy is based in Portland, OR, United States. Locally, we have been involved with several organizations facilitating and participating in educational panels and workshops.


Impact Program

The IMPACT Program was founded and is directed by Dr. Brian Mustanski.  We conduct translational research on LGBT Health and Development.  By “translational,” we mean that we seek to identify health issues, understand factors that put people at risk or protect them, and turn that knowledge into programs that advance the health of LGBT people and communities. “Translate” also means that we try to explain some of the fascinating but complicate language of science into lessons that everyone can benefit from.  The study of LGBT development is also part of our mission. We seek to understand how sexual orientation and gender identity develop because we believe they are core parts of human identity and worthy of understanding. The IMPACT program actively collaborates with community based organizations.  We feel privileged to have been awarded over $7 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and major foundations such as the William T Grant Foundation and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


COLAGE - For Children With One or More LGBTQ Parents

COLAGE is a national movement of children, youth, and adults with one or more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer (LGBTQ) parent/s. We build community and work toward social justice through youth empowerment, leadership development, education, and advocacy.


Straight Spouse Network - Spouses in Mixed-Orientation Relationships

The Straight Spouse Network (SSN) is an international organization that provides personal, confidential support and information to heterosexual spouses/partners, current or former, of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender mates and mixed-orientation couples for constructively resolving coming-out problems. SSN also offers research-based information about spouse, couple, and family issues and resources to other family members, professionals, community organizations, and the public. SSN is the only support network of its kind in the world.


We are Wild Flowers

Wildflowers is a blog that exists to support and celebrate the beauty, strength, courage and rebirth of women who have been, or who are currently, married to homosexual men.


Families Like Mine - People Who have LGBT Parents

Welcome to FamiliesLikeMine.com, a website created by Abigail Garner, author of the Lambda Literary finalist, Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is. This site launched in 1999 with the mission to decrease isolation for people who have parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), and bring voice to their experiences. Although Abigail has stepped back from her involvement, this site now serves as a partial archive of her work as a spokesperson and educator for more than a decade.


Find Your Understanding - Dear Dads Everywhere

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