Happy Pride! 🏳️🌈 Though June 2021 is coming to a close, Pride and all it stands for must be a part of everyday life, every day. Celebrating, affirming and supporting children in their gender identities and sexual orientations, and teaching children to respect and value all people are important ways to #ProtectKids365.
Ways Parents and Caregivers can Affirm and Support LGBTQIA+ Children
Each rainbow on this graphic represents a flag of a specific identity within the LGBTQIA+ community. Learn more about each of the flags and what they represent here.
- Encourage gender expression through clothes, toys, and interests. Remember: these things don’t have to be defined by gender.
- Introduce age-appropriate media that centers a variety of LGBTQIA+ families and focuses on queer kids’ and teens’ experiences.
- Familiarize yourself with the key terms that relate to the LGBTQIA+ community and respect the language that your child uses to self-identify.
- Connect your child with LGBTQIA+ organizations, resources, and events. It is important for them to feel a sense of community and know they are not alone.
- Accept and love your child as they are. Try to understand what they are experiencing and feeling. Engage in conversations and check regularly with your child about their interest, friend groups, romantic attractions, and what is going on in their life.
- It’s okay to not understand how your child feels. If you are having trouble understanding your child’s identity or feelings, not withdrawing from your role as a caregiver is a crucial way to help your child continue to feel a sense of being cared for and accepted. Consider joining a caregiver support group
Resources For Caregivers of LGBTQIA+ Children
- 7 Ways to Support Someone Who’s Changing Their Name & Pronouns
- Defining: LGBTQIA
- A Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth
- Families in Transition: Supporting your Gender-Expansive Youth Virtual Workshop | PDF version of Workshop
- How to Support LGBTQ Youth
- HRC Parent Guides
- Supporting Black LGBTQ Youth Mental Health
- Supporting Your Young Gender Non-Conforming Child
- Tips for Parents of LGBTQ Youth
Resources For LGBTQIA+ Youth
- SMYAL’s virtual youth programs provide supportive and affirming spaces where queer and trans youth can build community.
- Who Are You? – The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity – take a look at the interactive wheel to help start the conversation around gender identity.
- Yellow Glitter Sparkles: Queer Asian Support Group
Organizations to Connect with and Support
Safe Shores applauds and thanks these organizations for the life-saving work they do! Our appreciation goes to the DC LGBTQIA+ organizations and Safe Shores’ advocates and therapists who shared their expert knowledge to help shape this post.
The NBJC is an organization that advocates for the civil rights of the Black LGBTQIA+ community.
Whitman-Walker is a Washington, DC community-based organization that provides health and wellness services to all with a special expertise in LGBTQ and HIV care.
Casa Ruby is an organization led by trans women of color that provides help with housing, health care, jobs, and legal services to the transgender community of Washington DC.
Rainbow Families supports, educates and connects LGBTQIA+ families, parents and prospective parents by offering a wide variety of education programs, support groups, opportunities to connect and more.
Through youth leadership, SMYAL creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth in the Washington, DC area to build self-confidence, develop critical life skills, and engage their peers and community through service and advocacy.
DC Black Pride celebrates the African American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community through monthly engagement experiences, such as community conversations, panels and discussions, parties, bingo and more.
The leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQQIA+ young people under 25.
The DC Center educates, empowers, celebrates and connects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
A first-of-its-kind digital presence, inclusive of videos, advice, and resources dedicated exclusively toward helping parents understand their LGBTQIA+ children.
The PFLAG Chapter Network provides confidential peer support, education, and advocacy to LGBTQ+ people, their parents and families, and allies.