If you’ve followed me for a while you likely know that I’m a parenting coach and my passion is helping parents of LGBTQ kids overcome their initial reactions when their child comes out. That can include shock, anger, fear, guilt or shame. I want every child to feel valued and loved. I also have a couple of private Facebook groups for parents.
Parents need support when their child comes out and sometimes for a long time after. The support I provide is valuable and important. However, I work on the phone or via Skype and the groups provide only online support.
Why PFLAG? PFLAG has been around for a long time. They have meetings all over the country. They provide face-to-face meetings. Part of their meeting is usually educational and part support. Both are important for the parent. Meeting other parents face-to-face and hearing their stories provides an essential sense that we are not alone. We are all in this together. It’s wonderful to find parents whose experience closely matches your own.
When my son came out in 1989, I had no where to turn. I felt alone, fearful, guilty, upset. I didn’t want my son to be gay and I felt ashamed of my feelings. I had heard there was as support group for parents and attended my first PFLAG meeting the next month. What I found there was welcome, acceptance, permission to feel however I felt and understanding. Here were parents who had felt as I did and no longer felt that way. They told me I was okay and my feelings were normal. They give me space to experience my feelings and get to the other side. I’m not sure what I would have done had I not found PFLAG. Those parents really were a life saver for me. However, I did feel I needed more between meetings and I didn’t have a therapist at the time and no friends who were parents of LGBTQ kids. There was no online then. I managed for sure month to month but wonder how much faster my progress would have been if I’d had a therapist or coach who specialized in working with parents of LGBTQ kids or an online support group.
Having individual support is important as is having the support of a loving, understanding group. That’s why PFLAG!