My parents aren’t perfect. I doubt any are. And, yet, I feel pretty lucky to have them. I’ve talked about my coming out experience, and how – even though my parents responded with love – I wish they had responded to my coming out with understanding. With the knowledge to say, “Yup. And this is what we do about that.” I wish there had been things like summer camps for trans youth, or conferences for their families, or books for parents, or any of the things that have really come to light in the last decade or so. At the same time, I feel lucky and fortunate to have the parents I do.
I was reminded about this when my mom sent me a link to a Chicago Tribune article titled Study: Family ties cut suicide rate for LGBT youth. In fact, my parents responded on a similar script to what the article suggests:
[One of the study authors] said parents can make a difference. It’s important parents respond with love and acceptance from the moment their child tells them he or she is gay, and that’s true even if parents need time to process the information.
“You can say something like: ‘I’m glad you shared that with me and I love you no matter what. This is new for me and I have to think about it, but I want you to know that I loved you before you told me and I love you now,'” he said.