At Strong Family Alliance our overarching mission has always been to save lives and preserve families. More research comes out all the time to support what we hear over and over again from youth and their loved ones: family acceptance of LGBTQ children is the best way to keep them safe.
The Trevor Project, one of our partner organizations, released a new report in January of this year (2022) that confirms the elevated rates of drug abuse, homelessness, and suicide among LGBTQ youth. The research also finds that those rates are even higher for young people who are trans and nonbinary. This is a sobering fact, especially considering all the anti-trans legislation that lawmakers are trying to pass in states all over the country
It’s easy to understand why LGBTQ youth turn to drugs and alcohol and why so many consider suicide. Even though much has improved over the last few years, we still live in a society that discriminates against people with different sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTQ youth feel isolated, misunderstood, judged, and confused.
Youth who live in rural and conservative communities have an even harder time grappling with their identity and finding connection. They might feel judged by those around them with religious beliefs that invalidate who they are, and also very alone because it’s less likely they’ll find a community of other LGBTQ people.
For LGBTQ youth who aren’t accepted by their families, these problems are intensified and can seem insurmountable. Your love and acceptance in the midst of an often hostile territory can literally save your child’s life.
Learning about these realities for LGBTQ youth can be scary and depressing, but we don’t want you to get stuck there. Instead, we want you to understand how much power you have as a parent in this situation. You might not be able to go out and make everyone in your church accept your LGBTQ child overnight, but you can provide a safe refuge where your child can rest and recharge before they go out again to face the world.
For more information on how to support your LGBTQ child, check out our website: https://www.strongfamilyalliance.org/parent-guide/helping-your-child/tips-for-supporting-your-child/