Proudly Safe SA
ENHANCING E-SAFETY AND COMMUNITY CONNECTION FOR LGBTIQA+ YOUNG PEOPLE
Supporting your child
Supporting a child who comes out can be a crucial step in helping them feel accepted and loved, and it’s important to approach the situation with compassion, empathy, and an open mind.
Overall, while it is important to be aware of the potential risks, it is also important to remember that the internet can be a positive and valuable resource for the LGBTIQA+ community, and it is possible to stay safe and protected while using it.
My initial reaction was a mixture of emotions – shock, confusion, and fear. I worried about their safety and the kind of world they would have to navigate as a member of the LGBTIQA+ community. However, as I took some time to reflect and educate myself, I realised that my love for my child was unconditional. Their identity was not a choice, and I needed to support and accept them for who they truly were. I made a conscious effort to understand their experiences and to listen to their needs. – Naomi*
If your child is LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, or asexual/aromatic), it is important to provide them with love, acceptance, and support. Here are some ways you can support your child:
It is important to learn about LGBTQIA+ identities and issues so you can better understand and support your child.
Use inclusive language
Use language that is inclusive of your child’s identity, such as using their preferred pronouns and avoiding terms that may be offensive or derogatory.
Show love and acceptance
Let your child know that you love and accept them for who they are, and that their sexual orientation or gender identity does not change your feelings for them.
Protect your child from discrimination
If your child is experiencing discrimination or harassment, take steps to protect them and advocate for their rights.
If you or your child are struggling with your child’s LGBTQIA+ identity, consider seeking support from a therapist or joining a support group for parents of LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Help your child celebrate their identity and the diversity within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Allow your child to share their thoughts and feelings with you without judgment or interruption. It is important to create an open and safe space for your child to share their experiences.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s identity, ask them in a respectful and non-judgmental way. You can also seek out information and resources from reliable sources, such as LGBTQIA+ organizations or therapists with expertise in this area.
Respect their identity
It is important to recognize and respect your child’s identity, including their preferred name and pronouns. Using the correct language and terminology shows your child that you accept and support them.
Support their social connections
Encourage your child to connect with others in the LGBTQIA+ community, whether through online groups, local resources, or social events. This can provide a sense of belonging and support for your child.
Keep an open mind
It is natural to have preconceived notions or biases, but it is important to actively work to unlearn these and keep an open mind. Your child’s identity is not a choice, and it is important to support them and understand that their identity is a valid and important part of who they are.