I'm A PFLAG Mom

Posts Tagged "education"

everyoneisgay:

Your (Book) Questions, Answered: Week Four!

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out on September 9th! THAT IS LESS THAN A MONTH AWAY OMG OMG OMG OMG

Many of you, understandably (and awesomely) have questions about wtf this book is all about - sooooo, we are taking your questions in our Tumblr ask box, and will answer 4 every Saturday (**edit: we are a day late, it is Sunday, we knowwww**) until we answer them all!

TADA!!!!

Hi! Does the book have anything on gender identity/genderqueerness etc?

WHAT AN EXCELLENT AND IMPORTANT QUESTION.

YES! We would never have written a book that did not address gender identity and gender expression. However, we would also never be so presumptuous to write an entire chapter on gender identity/expression ourselves since we both identify as cisgendered. So, in the early stages of our writing, we formed a team of people who were either parents of transgender children, or who identified as trans* themselves, and they shaped the questions that are included in our gender chapter. 

We then collaborated directly with Zak from The Art of Transliness and his mom Sherri (aka PFLAG Mom) to create the language that went into those answers. Zak and Sherri both also have their personal stories in that chapter! 

The book’s glossary of terms also covers many identities on the gender spectrum, and the gender chapter starts with a basic discussion on the difference between gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality.

You guys always seem to have cool stories about your life so far. Are there any of your stories in the book?

Yes! The book actually begins (after the introduction) with each of our personal coming out stories!

There is also at least one story from one or both of us in each chapter, tied into particular advice questions. For example, Dannielle has a small story that goes along with the question that addresses gender expression and clothing choices, and Kristin has a small story that goes along with the relationship between sexuality and faith.

Each chapter also has two longer stories that are not from us, but rather from one parent and one kid — those stories also tie into the overall chapter theme (Gender, Religion, Telling Others, Etc)!! Stories, stories, galore!

Do you know if you will be supplying libraries in other countries apart from the US, so parents can find the book there as well?

We definitely have distribution in Canada, but past that we will be waiting to see what happens during the pre-order season (now!) and then after the official release. Those sales and that reception will determine a lot for the future of the book!

That said, if you have a specific need, please email us at parentsproject (at) everyoneisgay (dot) com and we will always forward it on to our publisher / do our best to make things happen!

About your new book coming out, if it becomes successful, are you planning on writing a sequel to it answering more parent’s questions about this subject?

Oh man, yes and how. We’d love to write another book to help parents with even more questions, but there are also tons of possibilities on writing a book for LGBTQ young people. Personal stories from us, advice, drawings of cats WHO KNOWS YOU KNOW?!

It’s probably the kind of thing where we will see what happens with this release and then talk and brainstorm and ask the universe what comes next. That’s generally how we run the whole business sooooo…

Also maybe we could write a joint memoir. It could be titled “LOL YOU GUYS THO”

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out on September 9th (*more squeals*), and is already totally available for pre-order (*so many more squeals*)

<3<3<3

Source: everyoneisgay
Source: Washington Post

Question from lovemyself09

So about 3 months ago i came out to my parents and they were really disappointed. They took me to a psychologist and honestly i was getting tired of them pointing at me and sayibg many homophobic things that i just told them that i wasn't really gay (lesbian) that all i wanted was their attention. I know i'm gay. i've always been and i'll always be. i came out to a friend who is also gay. But i just want my parents to accept me the way i am, i'm living a lie. i wanna be who i am. help!

That isn’t uncommon. I be a lot of people reading this are saying “I did the SAME thing!” Your parents think there is a way to make you straight- perhaps shaming you, or denying it, or dragging you to close-minded, homophobic counselors.

Do you have a long time before you’ll be independent from them? You may want to wait until you’re out of their house to come out again. Or, have a heart-to-heart and explain that you tried to not be gay in order to make them happy but it just doesn’t work like that. Explain that they can “not allow” you to be gay but you simply ARE and it isn’t going to change. They could keep you from being happy until you are away from home (and come to terms with parental rejection), or they could accept and celebrate you as the real person you are.

As usual, I recommend PFLAG.org for support material for them and for you. You can download pamphlets on different queer-related topics. Ideally, you could get them to a PFLAG meeting but until the, print some of their things and see if they will read them

Question from Anonymous

I am probably not the most typical person to ask you questions but im Elliot(FTM) and my parents are very un-accepting of the fact i like girls to the point I'm afraid to tell them that I am Transgender and prefer a different name and male pronouns. What should I do? My parents are not religious either so I don't understand why they are so against me being happy with who I am.

Actually, you ARE.  Many parents begin to plan their kids’ lives before they are even born. They continue to develop their hopes and dreams as their kids grow up. Eventually, they start doing that with their grandkids. The grandkids they also assumed they would get and that would live nearby. 

ENTER REALITY.

Our children don’t owe us anything. They didn’t ask to be born. You chose to have them. The real goal is to raise kids to be who they truly are.  If you love and nurture them, they will become authentic loving adults. THAT is your reward. That is the REALITY.

Few parents have a baby identified as a boy or girl and keep an open mind about their eventual gender identity. Most parents are FLOORED by the news that they have a transgender kid.

The GOOD news is that there are more and MORE parents realizing the joy in having a transgender kid. Many of us (parents who chat on the support group TransYouthFamilyAllies) express our appreciation that our wonderful beloved kids wouldn’t be who they are if they weren’t trans*. We love them as they are, and they are trans*. We wouldn’t change them. We all wish the rest of the world felt as we do and it breaks our hearts when our kids are hurt by a transphobic and generally anti-queer society. We would do anything to spare them that pain. 

Your question of what to do about YOUR parents? For one, you don’t know how they will react to your being trans*. They may be in denial — hoping that you will knock it off  and be the straight-cis daughter they think they’ve raised.

Get resources from TYFA, PFLAG, and other places that could help them and also give you ideas of how to approach them.

Stay true to yourself. Be yourself. Be PROUD. 

Question from Anonymous

I want to ask if you would be a pflag mom for students and other LGBT people who have parents that do not accept them for who they are. I am only 17 and I need someone to be my adult support system...

You probably need someone in real life. Find a PFLAG group in your area and go to the meeting. That is a good place to find caring parents who may love to be your support. I’m sorry that the adults in your life aren’t responsible and loving people. There are a lot of PFLAG moms and dads out there- your local PFLAG might have some more ideas too. ♥

Question from Anonymous

I'm a mom to a great 10 yr old! He likes "traditionally girl" toys, shows, boy bands & activities. He is very feminine in his speech & mannerisms. I love him to the moon & back & think that he is perfect exactly the way he is. His cousins are in town & about the same age & it's been AWFUL! Teasing, mocking, shaming, judging. This is the 1st time this has happened & we are heartbroken. I talked to their mom & she denies her kids are assholes! What do I do? How do I protect him from his own family

Your question makes me so sad. People sometimes where bullies come from - there you go!

 You child is lucky to have a mom who cares so much about him as a human being. Good that you realize that he IS perfect the way he is. I know that different family dynamics could make it uncomfortable for you to speak directly to those kids, but your kid’s emotional life and possibly self-esteem depend on you. Tell those asshole kids that their teasing will NOT be tolerated at all. If you have to take your kid and leave, or ask them to leave, just do it.  You can’t protect him from his family but you can stand up for him. You can also let him know that bad behavior isn’t acceptable even if it comes from family. There is no law saying anyone has to take abuse from people- even if they are family. Do you care more about being polite or being a good role model for you kid? You stand up for him and he will learn from you what not to tolerate from people. 

Question from Anonymous

my mum is yelling at me over wearing the male cap and gown at (high school) graduation and saying she doesnt want to be a part of my future etc., "wear the girl one for your grandmother's sake", "i'm not going to graduation if you do this" and such, and i'm not going to give in... do you have any advice please i'm sorry to bother you

Well…I can only tell you what *I* would do or suggest for my own son - wear the cap/gown that you want to, go to graduation and hold your head high. If they miss it, it is THEIR loss. I know you’d be sad if your family didn’t show up but you would know you’re being true to yourself and they would end up regretting not sharing  your big day. (no bother, congratulations btw) 

Question from Anonymous

I told my parents that i'm gay this year and while they didn't seem angry about it at all, there was a horribly long and awkward silence for a while and they seemed very shocked. Since then I've noticed that whenever me or my brother (who's also gay) bring up anything LGBT-related they're silent or try to change the subject. While I'm glad they aren't angry or upset I wish I could talk to them about things that affect me because of my sexuality without the uncomfortable silence. any advice?

They are hoping you’ll forget about it or it will just go away. Or, they don’t have any idea of how to support you or what to say or do. Either way- PFLAG could help. If you think you could get them to a meeting, go  to PFLAG.org to look for meetings in your area. If not, you can read and download tons of support information. As hard as this way is, NOT talking about it yet may be better than saying something they will regret later. It sounds to me as if you’ve given them enough time and it may be time for them to seek outside help. 

Hang in there.