Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



ASK LAMBDA LEGAL My child just came out to me. Now what?
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Currey Cook, Lambda Legal

This article shared 1093 times since Tue May 24, 2016
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Q: My daughter recently came out as lesbian and, while I was shocked at first, I want to be there for her and be supportive. But to be honest, I don't know where to start, or what the best resources are for more information. There is so much online, and I'm not sure what to trust. What do you recommend?

A: It's likely that it took a lot of strength and courage for your daughter to come out to you, and now it's important for her safety and well-being that you demonstrate your love and support. As the national director of Lambda Legal's Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project, I have seen firsthand the damage that can come from parents' rejection their LGBT children. LGBT youth are overrepresented in foster care, juvenile justice systems, and among youth experiencing homelessness. In fact, it's estimated that a staggering 40% of homeless youth in the United States identify as LGBT, and many of those youth have been kicked out by or run away from parents who did not accept them for who they are. I commend you for expressing your love for your daughter by accepting and affirming her.

As you may know, it's not unusual for a person to identify as LGBT—approximately one in every four families in this country has a family member who does. This means that not only are you not alone, but also that you've got a huge, supportive community around you and lots of resources at your disposal. The best place to start is your local LGBT community center. You can check Centerlink for the one closest to you. These centers can provide you and your daughter with educational resources and social events with a group of people who identify with your experience. Another excellent resource is an organization called Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays ( PFLAG ). They offer a volunteer-based peer support network and have chapters all over the country.

You might have questions, you might feel uncomfortable, or you might just not know what to say. Please know that your reactions are normal and your feelings are absolutely OK. The important thing is that your daughter knows that you love her even if you may need some time to gain understanding about this aspect of her identity.

There is actually a project dedicated to this very concept called the Family Acceptance Project. The Project's research has shown a clear link between family rejection and negative health outcomes for LGB youth. Conversely, the Project has found that family acceptance can actually lead to positive outcomes for LGBT youth, protecting them from suicide, depression, and substance abuse. The Project does a lot of work with families of faith who have difficulty reconciling their child's LGBT identity with their religious beliefs, and has assisted in connecting families of faith with affirming religious groups. They have helped families of many faiths learn to accept and affirm their children's identities. Many other programs exist within organizations around the country such as The Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit and CAMBA in Brooklyn.

It's important to recognize that while a person's identity as LGBT can sometimes evolve over time, it is not something that can be changed at will. You might hear about "reparative" or "conversion" therapy, which claim to make gay people straight or transgender people identify with their sex assigned at birth. These therapies are ineffective at best and harmful at worst. In fact, every major medical and psychological association has spoken out against conversion therapy, citing its use as leading to higher levels of depression, anxiety and self-destructive behaviors. Being LGBT is a normal part of human development and supporting your daughter means accepting her for who she is, rather than trying to make her into someone else.

I commend you for wanting to support your daughter, and I think that with time, you'll find that her sexual orientation is an aspect of her identity just as yours is and she's still that awesome daughter you raised and love. By letting her know you love and support her, you'll help guarantee she is healthy and successful.

If you have any questions, contact Lambda Legal's Help Desk at 1-866-542-8336, or see

Currey Cook is a Lambda Legal senior attorney and Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project director.

This article shared 1093 times since Tue May 24, 2016
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Gay Philadelphia journalist fatally shot
In Philadelphia, Josh Kruger, 39—an award-winning gay journalist and former city communications specialist—was fatally shot inside his residence, Philadelphia Gay News reported. Kruger's body was discovered outside his row home ...

Gay News

Kentucky, Tennessee allowed to enforce anti-trans youth healthcare bans
The Cincinnati, Ohio-based Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed Tennessee and Kentucky to enforce laws banning gender-affirming medical care for minors, such as puberty blockers, hormones and surgery, Reuters reported. The ruling is the ...

Gay News

GLAAD: GOP primary debate includes question on anti-LGBTQ+ violence, candidates duck
--From a press release - GLAAD: "Instead of addressing the critical issue of the safety and rights of all Americans, GOP primary candidates ignored the rise in violence and hateful rhetoric aimed at the LGBTQ community and our allies. Several chose ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Bisexual politicians, DADT, NBJC awards, crimes, Buttigieg
For Bi Visibility Day (Sept. 23), The Advocate ran a piece titled "35 Bisexual Politicians You Should Know." Just a few on the list include trans Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr, Nevada Assemblymember Cecelia Gonzalez, U.S. ...

Gay News

New report: Attacks on LGBTI rights strongly associated with democratic backsliding globally
--From a press release - A new report from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that countries that are highly accepting of LGBTI people tend to have high levels of liberal democracy, such as free and fair elections ...

Gay News

Texas anti-drag law declared unconstitutional
On Sept. 26, U.S. District Judge David Hittner struck down a Texas law that pro-LGBTQ+ advocates feared would ban drag shows in the state and jail performers, NBC News reported. Senate Bill 12, which Republican Gov. ...

Gay News

Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoes some LGBTQ+ measures and approves others
For California's LGBTQ+ community, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has made things interesting over the last few days. Late last week, Newsom vetoed three progressive measures—including an unexpected rejection of a ...

Gay News

PASSAGES: Chicago musician, producer and DJ Don Crescendo
Queer Chicago musician, producer and DJ Rodney Donovan Taylor, a.k.a. Don Crescendo, was fatally stabbed on the evening of Sept. 12 in his Avondale neighborhood apartment building. He died Sept. 15 at Illinois Masonic Hospital after ...

Gay News

Lambda, TLDEF urge 4th Circuit to uphold rulings protecting gender-affirming care in NC, WV
--From a press release - (RICHMOND, VA - Thursday, Sept 21) — Today, a full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard arguments in two cases involving equal access to health care for transgender people. State ...

Gay News

Arrests, fights punctuate battles across Canada over gender diversity in schools
Arrests were reported in the Canadian cities of Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver and Victoria, among others, on Sept. 20 as opposing groups clashed on how schools address issues of gender identity and how teachers refer to transgender ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Sarah McBride, TIME100 lists, Kentucky clerk, suspects arrested
A poll showed that Delaware Democrat Sarah McBride—who is bidding to become the nation's first openly transgender member of Congress—leads her primary opponents by a wide margin, The Hill reported. In a survey of likely Democratic ...

Gay News

Chicago-based Pillar of Love Fellowship UCC set to celebrate 20 years
Pillar of Love Fellowship United Church of Christ (UCC), founded by Bishop Phyllis V. Pennese in 2003, will be celebrating 20 years on Oct. 1 from 2-5 p.m. at the Oak Lawn Hilton Hotel, 9333 South ...

Gay News

Chicago musician, producer and DJ Don Crescendo killed in Avondale stabbing
Chicago's LGBTQ+ nightlife community and allies have rallied around the family and close friends of local longtime musician, producer and DJ Rodney Donovan Taylor, a.k.a. Don Crescendo, in the wake of his death by stabbing last ...

Gay News

MAP reports on obstacles trans people face with healthcare, legal recognition
--From a press release - Today the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) released Banning Medical Care and Legal Recognition for Transgender People, the fifth in MAP's report series, Under Fire: The War on LGBTQ People in America. The report details how the ...

Gay News

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin to resume abortions after ruling
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) announced that it will resume abortion-care services Monday, Sept. 18, after a judge ruled in July that an old state law that appeared to ban the procedure does not apply to ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.