Your first reaction to learning that a love one is LGBTQ can vary...widely. Some are surprised to learn this information from their loved one, others are both surprised and ill-prepared to hear about it from a friend, school counselor, neighbor, or online social networking site, while still others may already have an inkling that their child might be LGBTQ but aren’t sure when, how—or if—to address it. Initial responses also vary widely, from “Now that I know, what I can do to support my child?” to “How will I ever handle this?” For some people, it’s a combination of the two…and more.
No matter what your emotions, reactions, or responses, PFLAG can tell you with absolute certainty that you're not alone. According to statistics, one in every ten people in this country and around the world is LGBTQ, and approximately one in four families has an immediate family member who is LGBTQ. Most people by now are aware that they have at least one LGBTQ individual in their extended circle of friends and family.
And PFLAG knows this from over four decades of lived experience. Their members—parents, caregivers, family members, friends, allies, and LGBTQ people themselves—reside in communities in every state across the country, and represent a wide array of political, religious, and cultural perspectives. Simply put: they either are, or have been, exactly where you are now.
Know this: PFLAG is here for you. Our members are parents, families and friends of LGBT people and LGBT people themselves. We have been through much of what you are now feeling. We understand.
The first thing you should do for yourself and your loved one is to talk to someone who has been through this process. Whether it is by e-mail, phone or in-person at a PFLAG meeting listening to and talking to those who have experienced the feelings you are encountering can be both cathartic and comforting. PFLAG has more than 500 chapters and representatives across the country ready and willing to work with families and friends both in meeting and in a one on one basis. Click here to find a chapter.
The second thing you should do is educate yourself. Below you will find resources specific to family and friends of the LGBT community. All of these are available for free right here. But please also consider joining PFLAG. As a member of PFLAG you are entitled to support education and advocacy materials whose focus are helping you help you child or loved one.
Get started with your journey now: