One of the biggest concerns expressed by parents about their LGBTQ kiddos is safety. Threats, slurs, and pressure to hide themselves are very real risks for queer people walking through the world. Considering the influence of early support, parents and family members play a major role in developing resilience. Here’s the thing – LGBTQ youth are typically not struggling with their identities. They might be exploring or trying to put words to an extremely complex experience, but this isn’t necessarily the same as ‘struggling’ with an identity. The internal conflict is more often due to a child trying to reconcile their sense of self with everything the world has told them it means to be queer.
Back to school season always brings up the subject of kids coming out. Transgender and gender-variant kids will often decide to transition at the start of a new year. While everyone’s experience is uniquely their own, the journey typically starts with a child’s coming out to one or both parents. Here’s the thing: coming out means that this child has to dispel any assumptions you’ve already constructed. That’s big. Even in the most affirming and supportive home, there is still a risk of the unknown. The ‘unknown’ is how severe your response will be, in learning that you were wrong. Wrong is a strong word; in most cases, it’s closer to slightly misaligned. Sometimes parents already have an ink