Hard Questions at the Holidays – Lightning Round

This December, we’re talking about #HardQuestionsAtTheHolidays. The holidays can be hard for LGBTQ+ folks and their families since extended family might be confused or unsupportive. We’re looking at questions folks might ask and how you can answer them. Today we’re doing a lightning round! 

Q1: “Well I’m not anti-LGBT but it does go against my religion.”
A1: “I have yet to encounter any religion that centers its beliefs around excluding people based on who they are. Instead, I find that most religions center love and compassion, especially for those in need.”

Q2: “How are children supposed to understand these LGBTQ topics anyway?”
A2: “ I assure you that it’s adults who struggle with their understanding more than the kids. Your question says less about how kids learn and more about how you do”

Q3: “Isn’t it just a phase?”
A3: “While a person’s gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation might evolve over time, these characteristics aren’t changeable through things like talk therapy or praying. And even if it were a phase, we should still be respectful!”

Q4: “These kids are too young to date, how can they know they’re gay?”
A4: “Sexual or romantic experiences are not necessary to understand one’s attractions to other people –  think back to your own first crushes.”

Q5: “Well, I just don’t understand”
A5: “Lambda Legal has some good basic info here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/know-your-rights/article/youth-basic-facts-lgbtq – but really, do you need to understand every aspect of my child’s identity in order to show them respect?”

Some of our answers were adapted from PFLAG’s Supporting your LGBTQ+ Grandchild publication, which is specifically written for grandparents, but really has broad applicability! https://pflag.org/sites/default/files/files/SYLG_2021.pdf