Are you parenting a child who is questioning their sexuality or gender?
We are a group of parents and carers in Worcestershire and South Birmingham area, whose children have come out to them as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Non-binary or Gender-fluid. There are other categories too. We may have more than one such child and they may have disclosed at any age from very young into adulthood.
Whilst many parents are accepting and affirming of their different children, for some, including other family members, it can be a shock and a loss. It is difficult to believe that their child can think such a thing. Parents and Grandparents can be particularly distressed to realise that their child is not the person they thought they knew, and their expectations for the future are dashed.
Our feelings may include, disbelief, denial, disapproval, ridicule, shame, guilt, blame and fear. We may feel responsible in some way – as if we have failed as parents. We may fear for ourselves or our children in an unaccepting society or culture. It is difficult to confide in friends who do not understand the depth of our dismay, and some religions are discriminatory which may add to our distress.
Our group is a safe place for parents to share feelings, learn, and better understand how we can accept and support our young people. It is run on confidential lines by well-trained volunteers who are also parents of such children. The group has been in existence for seven years and has been supported by FFLAG (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and by the Allen Lane Foundation.
We meet generally on the third Tuesday evening of each month. We have a Constitution, Safeguarding policy and a Committee.