Gay and Lesbian Connection

Support and Acceptance for the Gay and Lesbian Community

Archive for December, 2009

Tips for Coming Out During the Holidays

December 25th, 2009 by Admin

Many people come out to their families during this time of year when visiting with their families.  The holidays can be a stressful time for GLBT people or families with GLBT members, but there are several strategies that you can use to help reduce stress and create a happy holiday this year. If you are ready to come out here are some tips from PFLAG.

If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender…

Don’t assume you know how somebody will react to news of your sexual orientation or gender identity — you may be surprised.

Realize that your family’s reaction to you may not be because you are GLBT. The hectic holiday pace may cause family members to act differently than they would under less stressful conditions.

Remember that “coming out” is a continuous process. You may have to “come out” many times.

Don’t wait for your family’s attitude to change to have a special holiday. Recognize that your parents need time to acknowledge and accept that they have a GLBT child. It took you time to come to terms with who you are; now it is your family’s turn.

Let your family’s judgments be theirs to work on, as long as they are kind to you.

If it is too difficult to be with your family, create your own holiday gathering with friends and loved ones.

If you are transgender, be gentle with your family’s pronoun “slips.” Let them know you know how difficult it is.

Before the visit…

Make a decision about being “out” to each family member before you visit.

If you are partnered, discuss in advance how you will talk about your relationship, or show affection with one another, if you plan to make the visit together.

If you bring your partner home, don’t wait until late into the holiday evening to raise the issue of sleeping arrangements. Make plans in advance.

Have alternate plans if the situation becomes difficult at home.

Find out about local GLBT resources.

If you do plan to “come out” to your family over the holidays, have support available, including PFLAG publications and the number of a local PFLAG chapter.

During the visit…

Focus on common interests.

Reassure family members that you are still the same person they have always known.

If you are partnered, be sensitive to his or her needs as well as your own.

Be wary of the possible desire to shock your family.

Remember to affirm yourself.

Realize that you don’t need your family’s approval.

Connect with someone else who is GLBT—by phone or in person—who understands what you are going through and will affirm you along the way.

Additional Resources:

Some of these tips were adapted from Mariana Caplan’s book When Holidays Are Hell…A Guide to Surviving Family Gatherings.

 

To help you and your family navigate through the coming out process give them the book, The Rest of the Way: A Coming Out Story for Parents and Gay Children, by Enid Jackowitz.  www.restoftheway.com

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Press Release

December 20th, 2009 by Admin

REST OF THE WAY PUBLISHING                                                                

Press Release

 For Immediate Release

Announcing A New Book To Help Gay Children And Their Parents

Navigate Through The Coming Out Process

 

Orlando, Florida, December 20, 2009—Enid Jackowitz, a psychotherapist and mother of a gay son has written a new book, The Rest of the Way: A Coming Out Story for Parents and Gay Children. Enid sheds light on where the roots of homophobia, shame, and guilt  come from, allowing parents to see issues that may be keeping them stuck.  The book will not only help parents come to a place of greater understanding and acceptance of their gay child, but also gay people will gain a new awareness of the complexity of the coming out process from a parents’ point of view. 

The Rest of the Way tells the true story of Enid’s journey of personal growth and transformation after her son came out to their family over twenty years ago, and how ultimately she became a psychotherapist specializing in gay and lesbian issues.  A prominent theme of the book is that there is nothing wrong with being gay.  But there is something very wrong with our homophobic world.  It isn’t our children who need to change; it’s society that needs to change.  This quote from Lexi W., Melbourne, PFLAG:  I purchased Enid’s book for our PFLAG chapter in Melbourne, FL. I always read the books we place in our library first. This book proved to be just as helpful for me, a lesbian woman, in my opinion, as it will be for parents of gay children. Enid’s story covers not just her struggle with her son coming out but also other issues that anyone in any family can relate to-relationships and self-esteem.

Very often when children come out the closet parents go into the closet.  But there is a way out.  Enid’s story of personal growth offers hope and compassion to families struggling with the coming out process. Quote from Dawn L. LCSW, Orlando:  The Rest of the Way is a look at the process that many parents of a gay or lesbian child go through in coming to terms with the ‘coming out’ of their child.  …Give this book to any family who has a gay or lesbian member.  Use it as a way to begin deeper conversations and build bridges back to one another and to your own deepest self. This book can change your life and that of your family or friends. 

 The Rest of the Way is now available at Amazon.com or Enid’s website www.restoftheway.com.  Orders placed at Enid’s website from now until January 31, 2010 will include a free copy of 8 Things Parents Need To Know When Their Child Comes Out.

 Enid Jackowitz is a licensed mental health counselor in private practice in Casselberry, Florida.  Knowing personally as well as professionally how difficult the journey from homophobia to acceptance is for both parents and children, Enid felt compelled to tell her story, to help parents on this journey. 

 ###

 

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Kudos to Bruce Springsteen

December 16th, 2009 by Admin

Bruce Springsteen recently posted a message on his website in support of the gay marriage bill in his home state of New Jersey. (one more reason to love this amazing rock star). 

“I’ve long believed in, and have always spoken out for the rights of same sex couples,” Springsteen said, “and I fully agree with Governor Corzine when he writes that, the marriage-equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is—a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law.

“I couldn’t agree with more with that statement,” said Springsteen, “and I urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.”

 

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The Importance of GSA Groups

December 8th, 2009 by Admin

Being honest about your sexual orientation can be a dangerous thing to do in some schools.   Many kids are bullied, berated, persecuted, and shunned by their classmates because they are gay.  According to the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, LGBT students are five times more likely to miss school because they are discriminated against.  Thankfully there are GSA’s (Gay-Straight Alliance) groups in a lot of schools that actively support unity between students of all sexual orientation. Not only do GSA’s provide a safe place for LGBT students to be themselves, they help the gay community feel less afraid and more accepted in a homophobic world.  

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Time To Come Out?

December 3rd, 2009 by Admin

There’s been a lot of talk about the importance of coming out.  So why is it so important?  For one thing people who have a gay family member or a gay friend are more open and accepting of gay and lesbian issues.  It’s hard to fear or hate someone you know and care about, or someone you’ve watched grow up.  A faceless stranger can be judged and treated with contempt, but someone you know?  Not so easy, especially when you know their story.    

So if you’re thinking about coming out–a scary thought I know–maybe it’s time–if not to your family or origin what about a good friend?

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