Gay and Lesbian Connection

Support and Acceptance for the Gay and Lesbian Community

Student’s Coming Out Essay

January 16th, 2013 by Admin

A student comes out in an essay.  Check out this beautiful exchange between a teacher and student. 

http://www.buzzfeed.com/stacylambe/teacher-leaves-touching-note-on-students-coming-o

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Are You Still in the Closet?

June 12th, 2010 by Admin

Coming out to oneself can be a confusing and difficult process with several hurdles to cross.  First, there’s making the discovery that you are gay.  Then, there’s coming to terms with your same-sex feelings.  Next, it’s wondering, am I the only one with such feelings? It’s challenging for sure.  Society may be more accepting of gay people than ever before, but there is still a stigma attached to same-sex attraction, and of course, the biggest obstacle for most people is the fear that their families won’t be accepting.   That happens, but people can change.  A favorite quote from Carol Lynn Pearson:  When dogma collides with reality, when the people involved are those you love, you see with different eyes. Even unaccepting parents can begin to see things differently with time.    

 If you are at the point in your process that you are ready to come out, there are lots of books that can help you and your parents.  Also, for support check out www.PFLAG.org to find a chapter near you.    

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Article for Parents with Gay Children

May 31st, 2010 by Admin

If you’re thinking about coming out to your parents, and think your parents could use a little help here’s a suggestion.  Check out a free article for parents: 8 Things Parents Need to Know When Their Child Comes Out at www.restoftheway.com and click on Free Article.   Also the article could help if you’re already out and your parents are struggling.  

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The Rest of the Way

May 10th, 2010 by Admin

The Rest of the Way: A Coming Out Story for Parents and Gay Children by Enid Jackowitz is now available at Malaprops Book Store and Cafe in Ashville, NC.  Hear Enid speak about her journey from rejection and homophobia to acceptance and advocacy at Malaprops on Monday, August 9, 2010 at 7 PM.

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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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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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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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More On Coming Out

October 8th, 2009 by Admin

Oct 11th is National Coming Out Day, initiated by Rob Eichberg to bring awareness and promote acceptance of the GLBT community.  Why is coming out important?  It helps put a human face on the word homosexual, a word that’s fraught with misconceptions and half-truths. Each person who comes out can lessen the stigma about gays, and help educate the people around them that being gay is just someone’s sexual orientation.   

But coming out is a very personal decision, based on lots of variables.  So make sure you accept yourself first before you do, since there’s really no way of knowing how your family will react to the news.    

If you are ready to come out there are lots of resources to help you get through the process.  Go to a PFLAG meeting.  Find supportive friends.  Create a family of choice.  Read books, blogs, magazines.  Watch the film, “For the Bible Tells Me So.”   Find a therapist who specializes in gay and lesbian issues.   Go to a gay pride event.  You’ll see lots of straight allies there. Get involved in the GLBTQ community.   Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.   You don’t have to do this alone.  

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National Coming Out Day

October 7th, 2009 by Admin

Coming out is a risk.  Just ask anyone who’s ever done it.  There’s really no way of predicting how some families will react.  That’s a little like holding out your hand to what you hope will be a friendly dog, not knowing if it will lick your hand or bite it.  But to stay in the closet is no way to live.

National Coming Out Day is October 11th.  Do you want to come out but need support?  Check out Rob Eichberg’s book, Coming Out an Act of Love, a step-by-step guide to understanding and accepting your homosexuality and dealing with other people’s reaction.     

Eichberg, a noted psychologist and founder of Coming Out Day stressed that one person’s actions of self-respect and love can begin to change the world.

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Gay Youth Coming Out

April 9th, 2008 by Admin

More young people are coming out to themselves, earlier than ever before as gay and lesbian.  But this increasing awareness of their sexuality does not come without a host of problems.     Often they have to hide their sexual orientation from their peers, family members and others, which can leave them both socially and emotionally isolated.  Those who are not closeted may face discrimination, verbal or physical harassment.  That’s bad enough  but there seems to be an epidemic of homelessness among gay youth.  And recently ex-gay ministries have shifted their focus to young people.                                              So while coming out  is more prevalent today than it was 25 years ago, one thing hasn’t changed: the lives of gay youth can be difficult and challenging.      

Category: ex-gay ministries, Sexual Orientation, homelsessness, harassment, Youth, Coming Out, Gay and Lesbian | No Comments »

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