According to MAP (The Movement Advancement Project), more than two million children are being raised by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents. Children of gay and lesbian parents live in 96% of U.S. counties — and decades of research shows that those children grow up as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as their peers.
Family acceptance is important to an LGBT young person’s well-being. Extensive research discusses that LGBT teens who are highly accepted by their parents have higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and better mental health than those without strong parental support. However, more than 70% of LGBT youth say their families are not supportive and more than half say they do not have an adult in their family they could turn to if they felt sad or worried. According to the study from FAP (The Family Acceptance Project), highly rejected LGBT young people were more than 8 times as likely to have attempted suicide, and 6 times as likely to report high levels of depression.
Family acceptance is essential when it comes to the health and well-being of young people who are transgender, gender non-binary or gender diverse. Being valued by their parents and family helps children learn to value and care about themselves. LGBT teens are less likely to love themselves and care for themselves if they are always getting verbal harassment in the family. And they also less likely to want to have a family or to be parents themselves. Some family behaviours can help child’s mental health problems and promote their well-being, such as talk with them about their LGBT identity, express affection when they came out, be supportive about their LGBT identity, bring them to LGBT organisations or events, welcome your child’s LGBT friends or partner to your home and to family events and more.
FAP research indicates that just a little change for parents, guardians, and caregivers can dramatically reduce an LGBT young person’s risk for serious health problems. Therefore, being a little more supportive can reduce your child’s risk for suicide and health problems!