Gay and Lesbian Connection

Support and Acceptance for the Gay and Lesbian Community

Archive for January, 2010

Book Available at Borders in Orlando Area

January 24th, 2010 by Admin

The Rest of the Way: A Coming Out Story for Parents and Gay Children, by Enid Duchin Jackowitz is now available in the Orlando area at Borders at the Winter Park Village. In telling the story of how her son’s coming out effected her family, the author takes us on a journey from homophobia and rejection to a place of acceptance and advocacy.  People from over 30 Countries have visited the author’s website.  

 For more information and to read Testimonials check out www.restoftheway.com.  

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Teen To Talk About Coming Out on NBC’s Today Show

January 23rd, 2010 by Admin

Check out the NBC’s Today show, on Thursday, January 28, 2010 for a piece on children who come out in middle school. 

When he was thirteen and in the 8th grade, Richard Walsh came out to his parents and a few close friends.  Richard said, “I started to notice I was different when I was in the 6th grade, and I wasn’t thinking the same things the boys in my class were,” he said, adding he began saying something to people because he felt like a liar. “My parents were very accepting …and they’ve been very supportive of me, as well.”

 

But at school, things didn’t go well.  Richard said he was teased and called derogatory names.  “Middle school was difficult after I came out because everybody (at that age) is still trying to piece themselves together,” he said.

 

When Walsh got to high school, he decided he wanted to be part of a solution for harassment in the schools –not just for the gay students, but for all the students. As a result, he helped form a Gay Straight Alliance group and became active in the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) –a national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students — to raise awareness and promote tolerance of everyone.

 

After high school, Walsh intends to continue his work as an advocate for the gay community

To learn more about Chillicothe High School’s Gay Straight Alliance, go online to www.chillicothegsa.com.

The NBC “Today” segment featuring Richard Walsh is expected to air between 7:30 and 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28.

 

 

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HELP FOR PARENTS

January 19th, 2010 by Admin

It used to be that most gay children stayed in the closet until after they graduated from college, but that’s changing.  Lately, GLBT youth have been coming out to friends and family as early as middle school.  That’s a significant shift from just a few years ago.  According to David Massey, from the Greater Knoxville, Tenn. PFLAG chapter, many parents want to support their children but don’t know how.  Recently, a public lecture and discussion was held to address the challenges facing GLBT youth and their parents.  Participating were the Appalachian Psychoanalytic Society, the Greater Knoxville PFLAG, and the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.   The discussion was provided as a way to help parents provide a supportive and nurturing environment for their gay or lesbian children.

Dr. Gary Grossman, assistant clinical professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Francisco, addressed many of the questions parents had, stressing that parental empathy and the full recognition of their child’s individuality are vital to providing a supportive home life for their gay child. “One of the most important elements in providing a supportive and facilitating home environment for gay kids is acceptance,” says Grossman. “But, as a psychoanalyst, I recognize that even parents who intend to be accepting of their gay or lesbian child may still have unconscious ambivalence about having a gay child. And many parents, as they learn that their child is not growing up the way they had imagined, will need to go through a period of grief over the loss of their expectations as they grow to accept their child for who she or he is.”

Dr. Lorraine Hart, a retired psychologist said that she is now completely supportive of her son, and that, for the sake of others struggling with accepting their own gay children, she is glad there are places like PFLAG to go to for support. “There’s more support now, definitely,” she says. “There’s more acceptance of gay, lesbian and transgender people. I think the trend will increase. This younger generation doesn’t seem to be as homophobic.”

 

 

 

 

 

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People Can Change

January 6th, 2010 by Admin

A landmark moment for LGBT politicians was the election of Annise Parker, an openly lesbian woman as Houston’s new mayor.   At Parker’s inauguration last week Joel Osteen, pastor of one of the largest houses of worship in the country congratulated the new mayor and blessed her leadership of the city.  Quite a surprise when you consider that just months before the socially conservative Osteen said on television that homosexuality wasn’t one of God’s best creations.  Giving the invocation at Parker’s inauguration, a more accepting and tolerant Osteen prayed, “God, we just thank you for raising her up. We honor her today and other elected officials,” Osteen prayed. “We count it a joy and an honor to be here.” 

Parker recognized that her election made history not just in Houston, not just in Texas, and not just in the U.S., but around the globe. She has become one of the most influential LGBT politicians in the country, guiding a city that is the largest in Texas, and the fourth largest in the country. “Houstonians weren’t very surprised that a gay woman was elected. We have a tradition of electing mayors not for who they are but for what they believe we can do as a city,” Parker said. “We rise or we fall together, we succeed or we fail together.”

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