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Supporting LGBTQ+ kids helps them become healthy adults.
Jo Langford is a father, therapist, and author of The Pride Guide: A Guide to Social and Sexual health for LGBTQ Youth and Spare Me “The Talk!” (for both boy-identified and girl-identified youth). He helps kids and parents navigate sexuality, gender, media, and technology.
Supporting LGBTQ+ Kids
Rule of thumb: Never out someone. The decision to disclose (or not disclose) one’s sexual orientation is an individual one. You should not out anyone without their consent, Jo says.
Kids, however, may unintentionally or deliberately reveal private information about friends and acquaintances, and when that happens, the child whose privacy has been violated may feel distress. Sadly, some kids are still bullied for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
One of our jobs as parents is “to protect our kids,” Jo says. Unfortunately, we can’t control the behavior of others, so “one way of doing that with a queer kid is letting them know that there are places and times that may be more dangerous to you,” he says. You may need to discuss things such as potential reactions to holding hands in public in particular cities or countries.
Jo also says it’s important for parents to queer kids to become part of the queer community — to familiarize yourself with the history, culture, and traditions of the community. “Support the art and companies and jump into that with your kid,” he says.
If you’re navigating evolving gender identity, give yourself grace. Even the most accepting, supportive parents, family members, and loved ones struggle with pronouns and language, especially at first. Do your best. Apologize when you get it wrong. Educate yourself. You can even say to your child, “Tell me what words to use. What do you want me to say when I talk to other people about you?”
In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Jo discuss:
- Supporting LGBTQ+ kids who are being bullied
- Personal pronouns, trans kids, & evolving language
- When to involve the school or other parents
- Talking about marijuana, pot, cannabis
- Why Gen Z is so anxious
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:
21st Century Sex Ed w Jo Langford –– ON BOYS episode
Which Apps are APPropriate? (w Jo Langford) — ON BOYS episode
Sponsor Spotlight: Better Help
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Sponsor Spotlight: Baby Quip