Teach Your Children

Scarcely a day goes by now without some word of progress towards acceptance, if not outright normalization, of LGBT lifestyles.

Sunday night during the Grammy awards in the midst of the music and entertainment, was a televised mass wedding with many same-sex couples. If that doesn’t speak to mainstream acceptance, what does?

Still, there is work to be done. One major area is in the raising of our children. Kids are remarkably accepting of new things, if only adults were the same way.

As in the first stanza of the song that became so familiar in the 1970’s Crosby, Stills & Nash implored us to “Teach Your Children Well.” However, by the closing stanza it becomes “Teach Your Parents Well.” That’s significant…because for too long, parents of LGBT children have done everything they could to teach them to be “Not LGBT.”

The toolbox of fear contained such things as reparative therapy and rejection by family, up to and including rendering underage children homeless. That is nothing short of child abuse and is unconscionable.

Such is the level of fear of social ridicule by the parents that children would be turned away from their family – not because of anything they did, but because of who they ARE.

The adolescent years are difficult enough under the best of circumstances, but adding in dealing with your sexuality or gender identity in a household or even a state where it is still legal for some therapists to try and change a child’s inner identity can be catastrophic!

The sad reality in too many cases has been when children have taken their own lives because of fear over their parents finding out that they are LGBT. Others have run away from home or battle depression and anxiety.

It’s time for parents to accept their children for who they are, to love them and support them. To help them become the best version of themselves.

Nearly every major medical association agrees that being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender is NOT a disorder and discourages efforts to “cure” it.

California continues to be a leader in the effort to declare reparative therapy “malpractice.” Other states are following.

Coming out can be such an exciting and empowering moment – especially when it is into a loving and supportive environment.

After all, what better gift can we as parents give the world than children who become well adjusted, diverse, beautiful and authentic adults who are confident in who they are?