by Audrey Benedetto

*****

Fox’s Glee has gained a reputation for being silly and over the top, but its representation of LGBTQ characters is not something to be dismissed. The showfollows McKinley High School’s glee club, the New Directions, as they navigate school, relationships, and, of course, the cutthroat world of competitive show choir. Glee has opened up a conversation about what it means for teens to be gay in today’s society by giving a voice to those who have never before had one, particularly to characters like Kurt, his boyfriend Blaine, and his father Burt.

While I’d like to point out that Glee by no means speaks for all parts of the LGBTQ community, it airs on a major network, where any nuanced representation of LGBTQ characters is significant. Where else could we watch a gay romance unfold from first kiss to marriage proposal or see a transgender character grow from wallflower to diva? For teens who may be struggling with their identities, seeing someone on TV go through similar experiences can be amazing, even life-saving. And for those teens who identify as straight,Glee provides insight about the lives of their LGBTQ peers. Glee is important not because it teaches kids how to be gay or that musical theatre is awesome (although it generally is), but because it teaches kids how to embrace and celebrate each other’s differences. 

So, what can parents of LGBTQ kids learn from Glee?

Read More

We recently had the opportunity to chat with ESPN columnist and feature writer Kate Fagan about coming out and faith. This is the fourth installment in a series of interviews with experts, parents, and LGBTQ kids. In the coming months, we will be speaking with more parents, experts, and youth about their various experiences and perspectives. 

*****

Tell me a little bit about yourself: Where are you from? What do you do?

Kate: I grew up in upstate New York, right outside of Albany, and left to play college basketball at the University of Colorado from 1999 to 2003. Then I decided I wanted to be a writer/journalist, because no one can just sit around being a writer”—it doesnt pay much. So I jumped around the country working at a bunch of different small newspapers. And then about two and a half to three years ago, I started at ESPN. So now I work through ESPN. I do mostly columns for them. And I live in Brooklyn. 

Can you briefly describe your upbringing and family life?

Kate: I grew up with one sister whos only a year older, and we were really close. Shes a cross-country runner. Both my parents are alive and still together and were kind of from a big Irish Catholic family, pretty close-knit, in upstate New York. Basketball was our big family sport and we would all go to each others games. We had a really, really fun childhood. And I thought my parents were the coolest people ever. I have very good memories of my first 18 years on this planet. 

You spoke about your Christian peers who would stress that they were not judging gay people, but who would at the same time make statements like, the life she has chosen is ungodly.” What advice can you give to parents who witness or receive this sort of judgment toward their LGBTQ kids, and who feel equally feel uncomfortable with it?

Kate: I think theres so much judgment everywhere and for me, the judgment that was the hardest to understand and to hear were from people who I truly cared about and who I thought cared about me…

Read More

Dannielle & Kristin shared their 10 most important tips to help you ensure that your LGBTQ+ kid feels supported, comforted, and loved in a recent piece on The Advocate. Read it here! http://www.advocate.com/parenting/2014/09/09/10-tips-parents-gay-kids

Question submitted Anonymously & Answered by Julie Tarney

Julie Says:

I can understand you and your husband being shocked by your daughter’s news. Many parents have a similar reaction when their child comes out to them – whether that child is in grade school, in high school, or is an adult. It can take time to process and adjust to unexpected news, especially if it’s a development you never even considered. In fact, I wonder if that “space” you’ve been giving her isn’t what you and your husband needed versus what you think she needed. 

I’m not sure how her coming out unfolded. Ideally you embraced her, told her you loved her no matter what, and thanked her for sharing her true self with you. But if you were too stunned, there’s a chance she’s been questioning your reaction. Now that some time has passed and you and your husband have had a chance to sort out your feelings, you want her closer and around home more, and you want to be part of her active, everyday life again. So you need to tell her that. 

Two-way communication is key to any healthy parent-child relationship. It’s especially important during the teen years, because that’s when boundaries widen to encompass dating, driving, and curfews. And you don’t have to be stern to be concerned and loving parents.

Your daughter is still your daughter. You’ve just learned something about her that you didn’t know before. I think she’ll welcome some renewed and heartfelt dialogue. I’d encourage you to start by being honest, admitting that her news took you by surprise and that you needed some time to process it. She needs to know that you will always love her for who she is.

I noticed you put quote marks around the word friends. It makes me wonder if maybe you’re not accepting of the friends she’s hanging out with this summer because you think they might be gay. Let me assure you that your daughter is going to have a mix of friends, some who may be gay and some who may be straight.  And as society’s homophobic fears continue to subside, that will be the experience a lot of kids have.

Please keep in mind also that her coming out to you was an act of love and trust. She wanted you to know who she is. And that’s not an easy thing for a teenager to do. In fact, she probably had to work up to it, wondering whether you’d accept her or reject her, afraid you might not love her anymore. You may not know that 40% of all homeless youth are gay, because their parents didn’t want them after they came out. 

Any parent who’s concerned with giving her 14-year-old daughter her freedom deserves some praise. The summer after freshman year is not always an easy time for parents. But for your daughter, finishing the first year of high school is a big deal. She knows the ropes, she has friends, and she’s come out to her parents. 

Ideally, your daughter will find your conversation with her about keeping communication open and understanding your responsibilities as parents to be reasonable. Here are some suggested talking points for you:

1. While it’s taken some time to process her news, you love her for who she is, and you always will. You appreciate her honesty with you. You respect her individuality. You’re proud of her accomplishments. And you want her to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life.

2. You’ve missed spending time with her: family meals, outings, going to the movies—whatever you all enjoy doing together, and you want to make some plans to see each other more. And you’d like to get to know her friends, too. You want them to feel welcome in your home.

3. You trust her to have common sense and good judgment when out with her friends, but she is still 14 and you’re still responsible for her safety. It’s reasonable as her parents to want to know where she is, whom she’s with and what she’s doing. If she’s going to a party at a friend’s house, it’s logical to ask if a parent or adult will be there. And it’s okay for you to talk to the parents of her friends. 

4. If she has friends who drive, remind her that she should not get into a car with someone who’s been drinking. She can always call you for a ride, no questions asked.

5. Agree on a curfew of when she needs to be home. And if she’s not home by that time, or decides she’s going to sleep at a friend’s house, she needs to text or call you with where she is.

6. You will always love her for who she is. (Because you really can’t say that too often.)

***

Julie Tarney is a mom, writer, and strong ally for LGBTQ youth. Her blog and forthcoming memoir, My Son Wears Heels, are about her experiences raising a gender creative child of the ‘90s and what she learned from him along the way about gender identity, gender expression and self-acceptance. She is a blogger for HuffPost Gay Voices and a contributing voice for the It Gets Better Project and True Colors Fund’s Give A Damn Campaign. Julie lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she’s also her drag artist son’s biggest fan. Read more of Julie’s Work here: My Son Wears Heels - and – Huffington Post Gay Voices.

Question Submitted Anonymously & Answered by Renee Zalles

Renee Says:

As soon as I turned 18, I started amassing a collection of tattoos on my arms and chest – all in very visible places. The only way to cover them up is to wear a button-down shirt, buttoned all the way to the top and at the sleeves. My dad always said, “How are you going to get a good job with those tattoos?” and I always responded that I’d never work somewhere where people judged me in such a superficial way. And it’s true. Thirteen years later, I work at an office where tattoos are commonplace, and have worked at similar places since I was 18.

When I first started in advertising, I would hide my tattoos during job interviews, and especially in client meetings. Even though I love them, I was afraid the big, corporate, suburban-dwelling clients would think I wasn’t as smart as everybody else in the room. Over a long period of time, as I got to know the clients, I started rolling up my sleeves more often, feeling that I had already proved my intelligence and worth enough to finally reveal who I truly was. And a really funny thing started happening. It turned out I was way better at my job when I was being myself. I was more confident, more creative, and far more outspoken than ever before.

When I interviewed for my second job in advertising, I didn’t hide my tattoos. And when I met the new clients for the first time, I didn’t worry about what I was wearing. And things are going great so far.

The point of all this is that you can always cover a part of yourself up, but sometimes you don’t realize how important that part is to you until you let it free. I didn’t know I was missing something really key to my identity and self-confidence because I’d never tried revealing the tattoos. I had always assumed something negative, without giving coworkers or clients a chance.

Honestly, this is a really tough question to answer because there is no right answer. But as a proud gay person who has found much success in being honest about myself, both tattoo-wise and sexuality-wise, I would suggest your daughter take the job and be open about her sexuality. Overall, I think it will be a vastly better learning experience than if she were to not take the job simply out of fear of being herself, and here’s why:

1. There’s a good chance that even though the company is conservative, the individuals who work there are caring and accepting. I’ve often found that by simply being casual and talking about my girlfriends in the same way straight people talk about their significant others puts people at ease immediately. If you act like it’s normal, all of a sudden they’re the ones being abnormal for thinking otherwise.

2. If coworkers are not accepting and your daughter feels uncomfortable, or feels she isn’t being treated fairly, she can just leave. It often takes experiencing things we don’t want to be a part of to truly get to the heart of what we really want and need. So even if she does end up leaving, she’ll probably learn something and grow. I know that sounds a little harsh, but that’s my belief. I am a firm believer in trying things and feel that regretting things or having “what-ifs” is far worse than going through a rough but short-lived period of time in which valuable life experiences are gained, positive or negative. In fact, one of my tattoos says Trust your Struggle.

3. Lastly, while it’s by no means the job of the LGBTQ population to educate others about ourselves or our lives, I have to admit I think it’s pretty cool to be the token gay person to broaden everybody’s horizon. At my first job in advertising, so many people at the office actually said to me, “I didn’t know gay people could look like you do [feminine].” It was shocking for so many reasons, a huge one of which was that it was an office in San Francisco. Anyway, what I loved about this was that I had unwittingly played a small part in showing straight people who lived in a really straight bubble (in San Francisco, for god’s sake!) that gay people come in all shapes, sizes, etc, and can be super normal! Super normal looking even; maybe even “straight-looking”!

These days, I don’t hesitate for a second to let coworkers and clients know I have a girlfriend, not a boyfriend. And I won’t lie – it was definitely hard the first few times. Ok, it was hard like the first 50 times. But, it’s just so true that It Gets Better, even when you’re an adult. It just keeps getting better.

***

Renee Zalles has a BA in English Lit, a MFA in Advertising, and a PhD in being gay.

PS!!!! This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids was released yesterday! And for the past several weeks, every book pre-ordered was matched by our amazing publisher, Chronicle Books, with a copy donated to PFLAG. You all rallied behind us, and we were able to reach our goal of having a book donated to each and every local PFLAG chapter across the country. Thank you!! 

A Big Announcement on Book Release Day:

AHHHH! So, we released our very first book today, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids… and we have something pretty awesome on its heels. We are working together with ULive to create a companion series to the book, called (what else): This is a Show for Parents of Gay* Kids!!!

GET IT?!?!

Here is your first peek at the trailer — episodes will begin later this month!!

EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING,
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH,
XOXOXOXOXOXO,

Dannielle & Kristin

everyoneisgay:

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids was released TODAY…
And, guess what?
For the past several weeks, every book pre-ordered was matched by our amazing publisher, Chronicle Books, with a copy donated to PFLAG…And you all rallied behind us to help and get this much-needed resource donated to each and every local PFLAG chapter across the country. 
What an incredible way to celebrate the release of our book.We are so, so happy.Thank you!!!
xoxoxoxooxoDannielle & Kristin
everyoneisgay:

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids was released TODAY…
And, guess what?
For the past several weeks, every book pre-ordered was matched by our amazing publisher, Chronicle Books, with a copy donated to PFLAG…And you all rallied behind us to help and get this much-needed resource donated to each and every local PFLAG chapter across the country. 
What an incredible way to celebrate the release of our book.We are so, so happy.Thank you!!!
xoxoxoxooxoDannielle & Kristin
everyoneisgay:

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids was released TODAY…
And, guess what?
For the past several weeks, every book pre-ordered was matched by our amazing publisher, Chronicle Books, with a copy donated to PFLAG…And you all rallied behind us to help and get this much-needed resource donated to each and every local PFLAG chapter across the country. 
What an incredible way to celebrate the release of our book.We are so, so happy.Thank you!!!
xoxoxoxooxoDannielle & Kristin
everyoneisgay:

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids was released TODAY…
And, guess what?
For the past several weeks, every book pre-ordered was matched by our amazing publisher, Chronicle Books, with a copy donated to PFLAG…And you all rallied behind us to help and get this much-needed resource donated to each and every local PFLAG chapter across the country. 
What an incredible way to celebrate the release of our book.We are so, so happy.Thank you!!!
xoxoxoxooxoDannielle & Kristin
everyoneisgay:

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids was released TODAY…
And, guess what?
For the past several weeks, every book pre-ordered was matched by our amazing publisher, Chronicle Books, with a copy donated to PFLAG…And you all rallied behind us to help and get this much-needed resource donated to each and every local PFLAG chapter across the country. 
What an incredible way to celebrate the release of our book.We are so, so happy.Thank you!!!
xoxoxoxooxoDannielle & Kristin
everyoneisgay:

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids was released TODAY…
And, guess what?
For the past several weeks, every book pre-ordered was matched by our amazing publisher, Chronicle Books, with a copy donated to PFLAG…And you all rallied behind us to help and get this much-needed resource donated to each and every local PFLAG chapter across the country. 
What an incredible way to celebrate the release of our book.We are so, so happy.Thank you!!!
xoxoxoxooxoDannielle & Kristin
everyoneisgay:

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids was released TODAY…
And, guess what?
For the past several weeks, every book pre-ordered was matched by our amazing publisher, Chronicle Books, with a copy donated to PFLAG…And you all rallied behind us to help and get this much-needed resource donated to each and every local PFLAG chapter across the country. 
What an incredible way to celebrate the release of our book.We are so, so happy.Thank you!!!
xoxoxoxooxoDannielle & Kristin

everyoneisgay:

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids was released TODAY…

And, guess what?

For the past several weeks, every book pre-ordered was matched by our amazing publisher, Chronicle Books, with a copy donated to PFLAG…And you all rallied behind us to help and get this much-needed resource donated to each and every local PFLAG chapter across the country. 

What an incredible way to celebrate the release of our book.
We are so, so happy.

Thank you!!!

xoxoxoxooxo
Dannielle & Kristin

everyoneisgay:

Have we mentioned that our book comes out tomorrow??
In case we haven’t: OUR BOOK COMES OUT TOMORROW.
Every single book pre-ordered before the end of today will be matched with a donated copy to a local PFLAG chapter. Boom.
Pre-Order & Learn More here:http://www.theparentsproject.com/the-book/
everyoneisgay:

Have we mentioned that our book comes out tomorrow??
In case we haven’t: OUR BOOK COMES OUT TOMORROW.
Every single book pre-ordered before the end of today will be matched with a donated copy to a local PFLAG chapter. Boom.
Pre-Order & Learn More here:http://www.theparentsproject.com/the-book/

everyoneisgay:

Have we mentioned that our book comes out tomorrow??

In case we haven’t: OUR BOOK COMES OUT TOMORROW.

Every single book pre-ordered before the end of today will be matched with a donated copy to a local PFLAG chapter. Boom.

Pre-Order & Learn More here:
http://www.theparentsproject.com/the-book/

AHH WE ARE SO EXCITED!! Only a few hours left to pre-order your copy of This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, which is hitting shelves TOMORROW!

Remember, if you order your copy TODAY our publisher will match it by donating another copy to a local PFLAG chapter. Help us reach all 350+ chapters!! 

Click here for more information

parentsproject:

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Lynn Zettler about her daughter’s coming out moment. This is the third installment in a series of interviews with experts and parents of LGBTQ kids. In the coming months, we will be speaking with more parents and experts about their various…

Remember when we interviewed Lynn Zettler about her daughter’s emotional coming out moment? Lynn could tell something wasn’t quite right in her daughter’s relationship with her new husband, but she wasn’t expecting her to come out as gay…

Read our full interview with Lynn here if you missed it

…and read Lynn’s daughter Lauren’s responses here!

Recently, Dannielle & Kristin, co-founders of The Parents Project, did an interview with Cool Hunting discussing their upcoming book This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids. Below is a question from one mom in response to the article, asking why the book is needed, and Kristin’s response!

Julie Langston:

I have a legitimate question about this book; but first, let me give you some background…

My daughter just turned nine about two weeks ago.  The day when she openly identifies with a sexuality has crossed my mind a time or two, causally.  Already, I am setting the stage to healthy relationships in both my example with her father and my openness about the different kind of families that exist and are equally normal (a father and a father, for example). We occasionally have talks about boundaries and never accepting abuse in any form, of establishing a strong base of friendship with the person you may love before ever considering marriage, etc – just the kind of respect-based practical advice I wish I were given earlier in life, but nothing gender related or too specific for her age group. Though, at the moment she has no interest in affairs of the heart (knock on wood), other than marriage themes coming up in pretend type play. So, I can’t, just yet tell what she will identify more strongly with and I can honestly say that don’t care which it ends up being.

So, my question is this;  how would raising her be any different if she is gay versus bisexual or straight? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to knock the book or anything.  But, isn’t universal acceptance kind of the way to go?  I was always under the impression that if I instilled in her the knowledge that not only is she perfect the way she is, that everyone is different and are also perfect the way they are, then we’re good.  From day one, I have focused quite a bit upon acceptance, tolerance, and non judgement of virtually everything that isn’t harmful.

Did I miss a step?  I feel like I might be missing something if a whole book is needed for this.  Is there more to this than I am seeing or is the target audience people having difficulty with the subject matter? Thoughts?

Kristin: 

Dear Julie,

This is the Kristin-half of the Dannielle-Kristin duo, and I want to first say, you sound like an incredible parent. Creating accepting, welcoming environments for ALL kids is certainly the way to be, and it’s amazing that your daughter is growing up with a parent who is so committed to providing many views of family, gender, etc.

That is certainly, and sadly, not always the case. You must notice, in your pursuit of finding materials that show LGBTQ families or characters, that the majority of books, television shows, movies, magazines, etc are dominated by heterosexual relationships and portrayals of gender as boy/girl only – with rigid roles often assigned to each. Many parents (many people!) do not even notice these discrepancies, and certainly aren’t cognizant of the fact that their child’s library may include only one view of family, love, or identity.

What’s more, there are still so many parents (people!) who have had little to no experience with any gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people (at least to their knowledge), and who are scared and upset when their child comes out to them. Those parents are scared and upset because they don’t have the knowledge that you currently have: that their child can have a full, productive life regardless of how they identify, so long as they are surrounded by love and support as much as possible. Our book aims to give them that knowledge, from the ground up, so that they can see as clearly as you seem to be seeing right now.

I’d urge you to try to understand that, just as much as you are acting from love for your daughter, so, too, do these “less accepting” parents act out of love. Their fear and lack of answers bends that love down a path that can ultimately hurt their child, yes — which is why this book needs so desperately to exist.

What’s more — while some of the concerns that parents have are rooted, like I mentioned, in lack of knowledge, there are others that are firmly rooted in reality. Parents who express fear that their child may face bullying, discrimination, or hatred are well founded — we still live in a country where many gay couples cannot get married, and where LGBTQ people can be fired from their jobs just because of their identity (among many other issues!). Those concerns are addressed in our book, and are very, very real!

This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids isn’t just written for “less accepting” parents, or parents with “no knowledge,” or just “parents of gay kids.” Our book is an important tool for any parent to help create accepting environments for the children — and I think in that sense you hit the nail on the head. Understanding many identities is critical in parenting any child, LGBTQ or otherwise. This book helps answer the questions that many parents have about their LGBTQ child, specifically, and also addresses concerns about the discrepancies and discriminations that do very much exist in the world around us, That knowledge is exceptionally necessary for ANY parent — not just parents of LGBTQ children.

Thanks for writing, and hope this helps!

<3 Kristin

***

This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out tomorrow!!!!

Remember! Pre-order your copy today, and our publisher, Chronicle Books, will match your purchase by donating a copy to a local PFLAG chapter. Help us reach all 350+ chapters! 

Click here for more information! 

everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014. 
That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.
We are so excited.Holy poop, you guys.
As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.
You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 
Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/ everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014. 
That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.
We are so excited.Holy poop, you guys.
As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.
You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 
Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/ everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014. 
That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.
We are so excited.Holy poop, you guys.
As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.
You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 
Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/ everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014. 
That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.
We are so excited.Holy poop, you guys.
As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.
You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 
Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/ everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014. 
That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.
We are so excited.Holy poop, you guys.
As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.
You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 
Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/ everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014. 
That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.
We are so excited.Holy poop, you guys.
As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.
You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 
Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/ everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014. 
That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.
We are so excited.Holy poop, you guys.
As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.
You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 
Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/ everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014. 
That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.
We are so excited.Holy poop, you guys.
As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.
You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 
Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/ everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014. 
That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.
We are so excited.Holy poop, you guys.
As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.
You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 
This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 
Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

everyoneisgay:

Hello. Today is Saturday, September 6, 2014.

That means in three days, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, aka the thing we worked on for the past year will be a real REAL thing that sits on bookshelves all across the country.

We are so excited.
Holy poop, you guys.

As you may know, every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter — so, if you know anyone who’d like this book, or even someone who might not know they need it, we’d love if you pre-ordered it before Tuesday so that we can match it with a copy to someone who definitely needs it.

You can do that here: http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

In the meantime, we will be running around like this:

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

YOU. GUYS. 

This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids comes out in three days. We are so incredibly excited to share it with all of you (see above). 

Remember! Every copy pre-ordered will be matched by a donated copy to a local PFLAG Chapter. Pre-order before Tuesday and know that you will be helping us get this book into more hands that really need it. Reblog, spread the word, and help us reach our goal of donating to all 350+ local PFLAG chapters! 

http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

by Anna Krieger, MSW

*****

Hi Parent,

Sometimes you might not always get the inside scoop on your child’s life, so I want to share some information about what your kid might be experiencing while at school.

As a society, we talk about bullying all the time. Schools have become better at cracking down on “overt bullying,” the kind of bullying that occurs in the open. If a student says a gay slur or makes a joke in front of a teacher, that student will likely get reprimanded immediately in many schools. However, what we often don’t discuss or think about is the idea of “covert bullying”—  bullying behind closed doors, bathroom stalls, text messages —all the spaces that are hidden from the adults.

So, after you say goodbye to your children each morning, it’s possible that they may observe or experience bullying firsthand. And their teachers may have no idea. You may be thinking to yourself, “But my child’s school is different. We have a GSA. We have a strong disciplinary program, etc.”  Even schools with these structures in place experience bullying. That’s the challenge. It’s this kind of bullying that escapes accountability.

A couple of years ago, I interned at a low-income school in West Philadelphia, providing counseling services for the students. As a bonus project, I facilitated the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). This group of loud, proud, boisterous teens seemed well-adjusted and open with their sexuality and gender expression, which led me to think that there was no issue with bullying in this school. One day, however, we discussed how to get more members for our group. The group members spoke candidly about the immense bullying they faced as a result of attending the group. They all nodded in agreement as each person shared about times they had faced verbal harassment from fellow students. They conjectured that that was why there were no closeted teens in the group, and why membership had dwindled. Even in this school, where students dressed in drag and were celebrated by their teachers for being true to themselves, bullying was rampant, and an expectation for anyone attending this group.

For you, dear parent, this is a snapshot into the kind of world your child might be walking into each day. So, this is an awesome opportunity for you. This is not about forcing your child to tell you all about the bullying at school, but it’s about creating a safe, accepting space at home so that they can share openly with you about how they might be feeling when the time comes. How do you do this, you may ask? Perhaps you are just beginning to understand how to accept this journey yourself, and you’re not sure how to proceed. That’s okay! The cool thing is that your kid will guide you. Maybe your son doesn’t want to talk about wanting to date his friend just yet, but maybe he really wants to wear a pink bow tie and listen to Prince music. By giving him the space to do these things, you show your son that you respect and love him for who he is. You also give him the message that you are present and listening, and ready for whenever he needs to talk about bigger topics in the future. I see this is as a huge way to create a safe space at home, which will be important for several reasons:

1. You are setting important stepping stones in place, so that whenever your child is ready to discuss his life, he can come to you!

2. Regardless of what’s going on at school, and regardless of how much your child acknowledges openly, this space can serve as an important refuge. Maybe your daughter doesn’t feel ready to talk about the girls who texted her mean things in class, but she can breathe more easily for the hours before she has to face her classmates again in the morning

3. You are setting the stage to allow your child to properly combat covert bullying. Your providing this kind of space will give them more armor than you will ever imagine. You will allow them to see themselves as valued, confident people. This will give them the space to be totally themselves, be in the GSA if they want to, and ideally, speak out against any covert bullying—whether on their behalf or someone else’s.

Please remember that these are just small steps that are part of a much bigger journey. So please be forgiving. You don’t need to have it all figured out right now. It’s okay if your child doesn’t want to tell you everything. Every kid has their own journey. And you have your own journey, too. Maybe you aren’t ready to let your son wear his pink bowtie, and maybe some of that comes from wanting to protect him. And that’s okay. But merely by learning to maybe think about one day letting him wear the pink bowtie, and giving him the space to talk about wanting to wear it, you show him that you are trying to accept where he is. And just remember that even if your child acts angry and rebellious and doesn’t want to talk to you, creating a strong, safe, loving home with acceptance is huge.

When I’m sitting there with a group of students who are opening up to me about their lives, the kids with the most heartbreaking stories revolve around parents who aren’t in their lives—whether because they’re no longer alive, they’re in prison, or maybe because they have a lot of other things going on. So just remember that you matter. Your words matter. Even when you think that your child isn’t listening, they are. And your words could be what protects them, allowing them to walk through school with a shield of pride, confidence, and love, bypassing whatever bullying or ridicule may be happening around them.

Sincerely,

Anna 

***

Anna Krieger, MSW has been committed to social issues since her time as a student at Haverford College, where, as an out student, she led several student groups focused around providing support for the LGBTQ community. Post-graduation, Anna worked in several low-performing middle and high schools in Philadelphia as an Americorps member, and later as a social worker, after graduating from University of Pennsylvania with her MSW. Anna moved to New York last year, where she has focused her career on recruitment, most recently for a non-profit that provides programming for high-need middle schools around the country. In her spare time, Anna likes to sit in the park, eat soft serve ice cream with sprinkles, and attempts to remember to update her blog: www.nougatsofinspiration.blogspot.com.

Remember: Through Tuesday 9/8, every single pre-order for This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids will be matched by our publisher, Chronicle Books, with a donated book to a local PFLAG Chapter! Help us reach all 350+ chapters!! 

everyoneisgay:

kristinnoeline:

I want to take a moment to tell you about my dad.
His name is Pete, and he is about 5’7 and very, very Italian.
He has accepted me for who I am since I arrived on this planet, and loves me so fiercely that just thinking about it can make me burst into tears. 
Yesterday, he sent out an email (pictured above) to all of his friends and family, declaring that love and support by telling them all about the work Dannielle and I do, and asking them to pre-order our book, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids.
His words, as you might imagine, made me cry. I had no idea he even knew what LGBTQ stands for, you guys. Ugh. I am going to cry again.
I am who I am today in large part because of my dad’s support, his strength in knowing that love is more important than anything, his ability to stand by my mom as she worked through her own fears about my sexuality, and so, so much more. His support allowed me to love myself, and that strength, in turn, enables me to do the work I do today - it is one of the main things that gave me the ability to write this book in the first place.
Our parents are critical to our understanding of the world and of ourselves, and I speak to so many of you each day who have parents that, like my mom once was, are hurting and confused and struggling and don’t know how to let you love yourselves the way you deserve. I know that, with this book, we have created something that can help parents understand, support, and love their kids just like my dad understands, supports, and loves his daughter.
It would mean the world to me if you could share our book with your friends and family and anyone else you think might benefit from its existence. It matters more than I think any of us could ever individually know. 
Every single book that is pre-ordered before September 9th is matched by our publisher with a donated book to a local PFLAG Chapter. Parents who desperately need information, guidance, and support attend those PFLAG meetings all over the country — I want this in their hands as soon as possible.
&lt;3&lt;3
Pre-Order Link:http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
PS: The top picture is me and my dad a few years ago — he is wearing an everyoneisgay.com bracelet. He has never taken it off. *runs to the corner to cry some more*

&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3

Kristin&#8217;s dad sent an email to his friends and family asking them to pre-order This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids so that copies could be donated to local PFLAG chapters &amp; and Kristin wrote some words about it &amp; now we are all crying tears.  everyoneisgay:

kristinnoeline:

I want to take a moment to tell you about my dad.
His name is Pete, and he is about 5’7 and very, very Italian.
He has accepted me for who I am since I arrived on this planet, and loves me so fiercely that just thinking about it can make me burst into tears. 
Yesterday, he sent out an email (pictured above) to all of his friends and family, declaring that love and support by telling them all about the work Dannielle and I do, and asking them to pre-order our book, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids.
His words, as you might imagine, made me cry. I had no idea he even knew what LGBTQ stands for, you guys. Ugh. I am going to cry again.
I am who I am today in large part because of my dad’s support, his strength in knowing that love is more important than anything, his ability to stand by my mom as she worked through her own fears about my sexuality, and so, so much more. His support allowed me to love myself, and that strength, in turn, enables me to do the work I do today - it is one of the main things that gave me the ability to write this book in the first place.
Our parents are critical to our understanding of the world and of ourselves, and I speak to so many of you each day who have parents that, like my mom once was, are hurting and confused and struggling and don’t know how to let you love yourselves the way you deserve. I know that, with this book, we have created something that can help parents understand, support, and love their kids just like my dad understands, supports, and loves his daughter.
It would mean the world to me if you could share our book with your friends and family and anyone else you think might benefit from its existence. It matters more than I think any of us could ever individually know. 
Every single book that is pre-ordered before September 9th is matched by our publisher with a donated book to a local PFLAG Chapter. Parents who desperately need information, guidance, and support attend those PFLAG meetings all over the country — I want this in their hands as soon as possible.
&lt;3&lt;3
Pre-Order Link:http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/
PS: The top picture is me and my dad a few years ago — he is wearing an everyoneisgay.com bracelet. He has never taken it off. *runs to the corner to cry some more*

&lt;3&lt;3&lt;3

Kristin&#8217;s dad sent an email to his friends and family asking them to pre-order This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids so that copies could be donated to local PFLAG chapters &amp; and Kristin wrote some words about it &amp; now we are all crying tears. 

everyoneisgay:

kristinnoeline:

I want to take a moment to tell you about my dad.

His name is Pete, and he is about 5’7 and very, very Italian.

He has accepted me for who I am since I arrived on this planet, and loves me so fiercely that just thinking about it can make me burst into tears. 

Yesterday, he sent out an email (pictured above) to all of his friends and family, declaring that love and support by telling them all about the work Dannielle and I do, and asking them to pre-order our book, This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids.

His words, as you might imagine, made me cry. I had no idea he even knew what LGBTQ stands for, you guys. Ugh. I am going to cry again.

I am who I am today in large part because of my dad’s support, his strength in knowing that love is more important than anything, his ability to stand by my mom as she worked through her own fears about my sexuality, and so, so much more. His support allowed me to love myself, and that strength, in turn, enables me to do the work I do today - it is one of the main things that gave me the ability to write this book in the first place.

Our parents are critical to our understanding of the world and of ourselves, and I speak to so many of you each day who have parents that, like my mom once was, are hurting and confused and struggling and don’t know how to let you love yourselves the way you deserve. I know that, with this book, we have created something that can help parents understand, support, and love their kids just like my dad understands, supports, and loves his daughter.

It would mean the world to me if you could share our book with your friends and family and anyone else you think might benefit from its existence. It matters more than I think any of us could ever individually know. 

Every single book that is pre-ordered before September 9th is matched by our publisher with a donated book to a local PFLAG Chapter. Parents who desperately need information, guidance, and support attend those PFLAG meetings all over the country — I want this in their hands as soon as possible.

<3<3

Pre-Order Link:
http://theparentsproject.com/the-book/

PS: The top picture is me and my dad a few years ago — he is wearing an everyoneisgay.com bracelet. He has never taken it off. *runs to the corner to cry some more*

<3<3<3

Kristin’s dad sent an email to his friends and family asking them to pre-order This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids so that copies could be donated to local PFLAG chapters & and Kristin wrote some words about it & now we are all crying tears. 

Laurin Mayeno wasn’t always an out proud mom. During her son’s early years, she felt like a misfit for many reasons. She was a Japanese/Jewish American widow and single mother, struggling with feeling apart, rather than being a part of any community. Not to mention she had a little multiracial son named Danny who loved Barbies, mermaids, unicorns, and dressing up as a princess. She didn’t know anyone with a child like hers…

Find out how Parents Project contributor Laurin Mayeno transformed her fears into pride! Read the full story on Out Proud Families

***

Don’t forget! Through Sept. 8th, every single pre-order for This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids will be matched by our publisher, Chronicle Books, with a donated book to a local PFLAG Chapter!!!!

Contributors to The Parents Project are expressing personal opinions and views through this website, affiliated social media outlets, email, video and/or phone. These opinions and views are not intended to treat, diagnose, or replace the treatment, care, or advice that you may be receiving from a licensed professional in fields including but not limited to medicine, finance, law, and/or mental health. Dannielle Owens-Reid, Kristin Russo, or any other contributors to The Parents Project are not responsible and do not accept liability for the outcomes or results of following their advice in any past, present or future situation. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you are responsible for making such a determination independently and you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

By submitting a question to this website, you grant The Parents Project permission to publish it on this site or elsewhere including print publications. If submitted anonymously, your name and email address will never be included or distributed.

Submit Your Question Below: