I asked this question in my private Facebook group for parents of LGBTQ kids: How has giving support and encouragement helped and supported you? Here are some of the responses I received, reprinted with permission.
“I feel I speak out in support of our LGBT to the point of annoying others either on Facebook, in daily conversations, or in church. I worry that friends or family will avoid me because many conversations I have end up on this subject. Or that I will be blocked on Facebook because I over post in support. BUT then I get a private message or a phone call from a parent who tells me that something I said helped them better understand and support their child. They tell me because of my words they were able to rebuild their relationships. They Thank me for my voice and the Courage to speak up for LGBT even at the risk of losing friends and a position in my church (yes that happened). Those messages and calls make everything worth it. If I can save one relationship maybe even a life with my support I will shout it from the rooftops!”
“This group is the ONLY place I can go for advice without judgement. It’s helped me quite a bit. Plus, it’s the only place I can go to complain about my family’s crappy attitude towards my son. I literally get all the understanding and support I need from this group.”
“Giving support takes away fear in the soul. For even if shaking (as in speaking in non-supportive environment). You learn, Hey, the world didn’t end… no flash of lightning struck you for speaking up. End ignorance by having the love you feel for your child be stronger than fear. Shake in your boots… but, choose to “adult-up” to make those younger feel safe. Show no fear… so others can learn to show no fear.”
The parents in my group are a never ending source of inspiration for me. Often, when someone posts a question or concern, there are 5 responses before I even get to see it. I always tell people my group is a judgement free zone. No judgement allowed. So no matter where one is on their journey, they are welcome in the group and welcome to share their concerns and questions. No on is made to feel wrong or bad for how they’re feeling.
If you need a supportive place like this as a parent, family member or ally of the LGBTQ community, let me know. I have a group for parents and one for extended family and allies. I’d be happy to tell you more.