Support and guidance for parents of LGBT+ children
The MOD LGBT+ Allies have published a report that they hope will provide support and guidance for parents of LGBT+ children, and generally raise awareness.
There are useful tips for you, as a parent, on creating the best possible environment for your child, including how to provide support when they come out, and helping them talk about it. It’s normal to have conflicting feelings about the situation but be reassured that many families emerge with closer relationships.
It’s also important for you to be proactive. For instance has your child confided in a teacher about being bullied? You may want to approach the school to find out how they manage this (with the consent of your child).
The report also shares various life experiences. A military background perspective comes from Group Captain Tony Keeling OBE and Mrs Bobby Keeling. Their son Bobby came out when he was 15.
When you’ve been in the military for 20-30 years and your child comes out, it can be difficult to break down the barriers to understand their lived experience. I’ve found that talking and sharing is the best way and you can become a voice to help other people.
I’ve now become an ally and have reverse mentors – the safe environment to talk everything through doesn’t have to be with your child or your family. It’s been so important to get a different perspective.
If your child is transgender there are generally less resources available. However, the report shares some immediate tips. And Sergeant Major Mark Hill MBE shares his experience of having a transgender daughter. His priority was his daughter’s wellbeing. After an immediate appointment with her GP, and a long wait, the end of a 6-month assessment period at the Gender Identity clinic is in sight.
The report also share lists of useful resources that provide meet-ups, events and advice plus the opportunity to mix with parents in the same position. All organisations listed are for guidance only and are not officially endorsed by MOD.
If you want any further information or have any questions about the report you are encouraged to contact MOD LGBT+ Network, ShOUT via email.