This January, Greater Boston PFLAG encourages you to make a #NewYearsResolution to support LGBT+ Youth. All month we will share ways folks can make a difference in someone’s life.
The Trevor Project’s National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health reported in 2019 that those who had at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report suicidal ideations and gestures. This indicates that mental health struggles stem from acceptance & validation.
So how can you be that accepting adult for LGBT+ youth? Start by simply listening, accepting and validating. Don’t force folks to feel like they need to disclose their gender identity or sexual orientation to you. Instead, wait for them and thank them for sharing if/when they do.
If your LGBT+ loved one suggests using a new name or set of pronouns when referring to them, don’t push back, let them lead the way. We all make mistakes, so if you screw up someone’s pronouns or accidentally deadname them, apologize and promise to try better next time.
Another easy way to show up for your LGBT+ loved one is to educate yourself on relevant topics on your own time. If someone discloses their identity to you and you find that you have a lot of questions regarding what that means, check out some resources: https://gbpflag.org/resources/
Just remember your LGBT+ loved one is going to be asked about their identity a lot throughout their life, so you can make life a little easier for them by getting the basics down yourself. That’s why GBPFLAG is here to support!