The hazards of being a parent are many. Living at a time that is 'interesting' has more challenges than most of us can imagine. When your son/daughter has enough confidence in you that they will tell you they want to be a girl/boy, or tell you they are sexually attracted to other boys/girls, you need to be able to act in a way that will show them love. We need all the help we can get.
As an update to a previous post, here is an article from Huffington Post on May 4, by Joanne Herman; New-Age Parenting for Transgender Youth
The article reports that the organizers of Camp Aranu’tiq recently held a reception in the Boston area to introduce their program. Suggesting that parents who support their children in this way are ‘new age’ seems a little amusing to me, yet I don’t suppose such a label would be off-putting to young parents (at least I hope not).
One quote from the article stands out for me:
“Dr. Caitlin Ryan, head of the Family Acceptance Project, says that gay and transgender children rejected by their families were three times more likely to use illegal drugs, six times more likely to report high levels of depression and eight times more likely to have attempted suicide.”
Such a statistic should soften a parent’s attitude toward their LGBT children even if they have reservations to begin. Even if a parent cannot go as far as sending their child to a LGBT camp, they can listen and try to be supportive.
The Family Acceptance Project™ (FAP), to quote from their site, is a “new family-related approach (that) will help ethnically diverse families decrease rejection and increase support to decrease their LGBT children's risk and promote their well-being.
Promoting well-being sounds simple enough, but how do we do that, exactly? The 'experts' have conflicting views, that much is certain. A good trick is to suggest that together, you and your youngster are going to find out everything you can about what they have told you. Together you can think about what it means and what help you might need.
It may sound too simple, but a position of unconditional love for your child is always a good place to start.