Pride Month is celebrated annually in the U.S. in June as a way to affirm LGBTQIA+ rights, dignity, and equality. Rooted in the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, Pride has grown in recognition and expanded into nearly every community and business in the past fifteen years.
If you are the parent of a young person who has recently come out as gay, nonbinary, queer, trans, or the term of their choice, then this is for you. To help you and assist you in helping them as they embrace their identity in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. In fact, how they identify may evolve as they grow and begin to understand better who they are as an adult.
Remember, it isn’t about you. It’s about your children being themselves, their true self as they know it, see it and feel it. While their announcement may be new to you, they have wrestled with the concept and related emotions for years. This is a journey for them, and they need support all along the way.
Being supportive is mostly about listening. Offer resources when asked – we have many linked at the end of this article. Be aware of your language; use their chosen name and pronouns. Be inclusive. Be present. Be an advocate. Be an ally. Attend Pride events as a family. A supportive family provides a stable base allowing an LGBTQIA+ child or young adult to be themselves without risking their mental health and possibly, their life.
If your child does not identify under the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, please do not fear exposing them to Pride Month activities will “turn them.” It won’t. It will help them become a nicer, more well-rounded citizen, a supportive friend, and hopefully, an ally.