Love: How to support and celebrate your LGBTQIA+ child
Ways to show your child you love them.
Further to merely “accepting” your child’s LGBTQIA+ identity, it’s important to let them know it’s a part of them that you love and celebrate.
Take it from us – seeing a parent show up, stand up, and actively being an ally to the whole LGBTQIA+ community can do wonders for self-esteem, resilience, and all-round good vibes! There are so many ways to support and celebrate your child, no matter their age or your level of knowledge.
1. Participate! Show up, stand up, and get involved in your child’s interests
Get involved! Simple as that. Take an interest in what they’re into. That’s something of a given, but especially when it comes to actively taking an interest in LGBTQIA+ causes, events, movies, and festivals.
If your child is marching at Pride March, ask whether they’d like to march alongside them as an ally. Offer to drive them to LGBTQIA+ youth events. Wear a rainbow lanyard, an ally badge, and grab a proud parent sticker. If there’s a rally for LGBTQIA+ rights, attend – or chat to those around you about its importance. Be an advocate and an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community.
“We fly the flag at home and on the ute. Lots of pins and badges and rainbows adorning clothes and bags. We attend LGBTIQ events like Chillout, Frolic Festival (for regional Victorians) and Midsumma parade. And when we finally hit T-Day we attended the clinic together for the shot and posted photos on Facebook celebrating the occasion.” – Fiona
2. Support them to attend LGBTQIA+ events
Making friends, and especially other LGBTQIA+ friends, can be super important for LGBTQIA+ young people. It can be revelatory making friends like them! Having friends provides an all-important sense of belonging, and community – and that really builds resilience and good mental health.
Research LGBTQIA+ youth events, groups and initiatives in your area. The perfect place to start: Minus18! Minus18 hosts events in Melbourne a few times a year, and once a year in Adelaide and Sydney. And you know what, dropping off your kid at LGBTQIA+ Formal is a great place to meet other parents doing exactly the same thing!
3. Check out LGBTQIA+ movies, TV shows and music together
There are heaps of LGBTQIA+ movies out there, and heaps of TV shows featuring nuanced LGBTQIA+ storylines. Not only can getting into LGBTQIA+ movies be a good way to get some extra learning and perspectives in, it’s a super cute activity to do together.
Ask your child to show you which LGBTQIA+ stars and personalities they’re following on Instagram – that can also be a great way to learn more about the community and your child’s interests at the same time.
“Our son sent me a little video of his father in the garage playing Lady Gaga really loud working on his engine, and our son just thought that that was absolutely fabulous!” – Julie
4. Celebrate IDAHOBIT at work
Each year, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) runs on May 17. It’s a day for workplaces and schools to stand out against discrimination by going rainbow. Learn more about how you can get involved here.
5. Tell them you love them and their LGBTQIA+ identity
This one’s an obvious one to finish on, isn’t it? But it still warrants inclusion! Make sure your love for your child shines through at all times – let your love for them, and their LGBTQIA+ identity, never be in question. Give them a hug and be there for them!
Remember: being part of the LGBTQIA+ community is amazing!
“I have grown as a person and as a parent. I have become more compassionate, a better advocate; I have become better at managing conflict and dealing with unsupportive and unsafe people. She has shown me how not to be afraid to be myself, and to stand up for what I believe in too, and challenge what is unhelpful or oppressive. She has helped me find rainbows and glitter everywhere, in every situation, both literally and metaphorically. It is an honour to be her mum.” – Cheryl
Check out the rest of the series:
These articles and videos are a collaboration between Minus18 and Disney, celebrating the diversity of families and their journeys within the LGBTQIA+ community.
Production by Clothesline Content