Ways to Support LGBTQ Teens
Parents are uniquely positioned to support LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer) teens. By having open conversations, and by showing unconditional love and acceptance, parents can help adolescents navigate what is oftentimes challenging terrain. When LGBTQ youth are supported by their families they reap a range of positive benefits including greater self‐esteem and better general health. Family acceptance also protects against depression, substance abuse, and suicide.
Showing support is also important if your teen hasn’t “come out” yet. If you feel this important discussion is on the horizon, there are several strategies to consider to help the conversation go well and your teen to feel safe and supported. One idea is simply to prepare. Become familiar with LGBTQ culture. Learn phrases. Research terms. Being knowledgeable allows you to ask more sensitive and thoughtful questions.