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Below is a letter of love and encouragement for parents who are not accepting of their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) children. Many parents find themselves at a crossroads when they discover their child is LGBTQ. They need understanding and compassion to sort through the confusion and fear they might face. Please share this letter with someone you know. It could make a big difference for them.
Dear Fellow Parent,
I want you to know you are not alone. Maybe you were angry, devastated, or even horrified when you found out that your child was different than you expected. Maybe you feel guilt or shame. Whatever you are feeling, know that others have felt the same way.
There are many reasons why accepting an LGBTQ child is often difficult for parents. You may fear that something is wrong with your child and worry that they may not live a healthy, happy life. You may fear rejection from your family members, friends or community. Maybe you question yourself. Did I do something to cause my child to be this way? Maybe you’re disappointed because you had dreams of who your child would grow up to be. Whatever your reasons, you are not alone.
Our society teaches us that being LGBTQ is wrong and something to be ashamed of. As a result, some parents lose their children forever. Our society teaches us that being LGBTQ is wrong and something to be ashamed of. As a result, some parents lose their children forever. I hope this is not the case for you. You may have said or done things that were hurtful to your child. Maybe you tried to change or fix your child, told them to change how they dress or act, or distanced yourself from your child and their friends. Maybe you even disowned your child. Whatever you have done, you are not alone.
Moments like this, when things feel like they are falling apart, can be turned into something beautiful. Many parents have started out rejecting their LGBTQ children and later found acceptance. I am not writing to judge you or to convince you that you are wrong. I am writing to tell you that I believe in you. Moments like this, when things feel like they are falling apart, can be turned into something beautiful. Many parents have started out rejecting their LGBTQ children and later found acceptance. Many have learned to celebrate and be proud of their children. So can you. I believe that you are strong. I believe that you love your children deeply and that your love is powerful.
This isn’t just about your child. It’s also about you. Look inside and ask yourself “what do I need?” Maybe you need someone to listen without judging. Maybe you need reassurance or information. There is support out there for you. There are support groups and welcoming congregations. There are people who have been through it and people who will embrace both you and your child. There are books, videos, websites and much more.
Please, take that first step. Look inside and see what you need so that you can find peace of mind and support your child. You can give your child the unconditional love they deserve, be confident that you are doing the right thing, and bring your family back together. You may be saving your child’s life. And, at the very least, you will be making their life a lot better!
All my best,
Laurin (Mom of a Gay Son)