This blog shares 3 ways to support an LGBTQIA+ teen. Whether you are a parent, relative, or loved one, you are wanting to know ways to be an ally to the community, as well as closely support them.
They may have shared information such as their pronouns, their gender identity, or their sexuality. To begin, it’s very significant that they have opened up to you. Coming out is a personal matter, and can be really scary. Therefore, this shows that your teen feels safe with you.
It’s no secret that in today’s day and age, the LGBTQIA+ community is in the spotlight of harmful legislation, discrimination, and dangerous accusations. Ranging from attacks on LGBTQIA+ youth to older adults, it’s clear that allies are needed well beyond Pride Month.
The 3 ways to support an LGBTQIA+ teen include: 1) Create and maintain with a non-judgmental and loving space. 2) Learn about LGBTQIA+ history. 3) Stand up for them when they are and aren’t around.
3 Ways to Support an LGBTQIA+ Teen: Create and maintain a non-judgmental, accepting, and loving environment
Create and maintain a non-judgmental, accepting and loving environment. It is important that your teen feels safe in their home environment and with the people they live with. A lot of this will stem from how you communicate and interact with your teen.
Show interest and ask questions about aspects of their identity, such as gender identity or pronouns. It’s normal to be confused at first, or unsure how you feel about it at first. As you have likely come from a different generation, all of this can feel new, and maybe even overwhelming.
When you can set aside any negative feelings, you can open yourself up to a world of knowledge around what it takes to be a queer young person. You can act with curiosity and show your teen that no matter what, you accept and love them for who they are.
According to the Trevor Project, it is estimated that 1.8 million LGBTQ youth (13 to 24 years old) are at a significantly increased risk for suicide, and four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.
It’s important to note that LGBTQIA+ youth are not inherently prone to suicide risk due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, The Trevor Project notes. Rather, due to how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society, this puts them at a higher risk.
Therefore, it’s essential to show acceptance and love to your teen. In Simi Valley, we offer LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy for teens, adults, families, and couples. Our therapists are experienced and passionate working with and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.
3 Ways to Support an LGBTQIA+ Teen: Learn about LGBTQIA+ history
You may be unfamiliar with LGBTQIA+ history, such as significant movements, individuals, or legislative steps taken to protect the community. LGBTQIA+ history dates back further than these examples, and exist in different countries, spiritualities, or cultures. Here are just a few from the United States you can learn about now:
1969 ~ The Stonewall Uprising:
A gay bar, the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, was raided by police for investigating the illegal sale of alcohol. However, due to ongoing harassment to the LGBTQ+ community residing in that area, tensions were high. Individuals began protesting against the police a. Subsequently, this uprising inspired activism and LGBTQ+ movements such as the Pride Parades in 1970.
1991 ~ Origin of Black Pride:
Activists Welmore Cook, Theodore Kirkland, and Ernest Hopkins organized the first Black Pride with goals to address the spread of HIV/AIDS and advocating for better care + treatment in the Black LGBTQ+ community in Washington, D.C. This movement occurs to this day, and discusses specific issues unique to the Black LGBTQIA+ community such as racism, transphobia, and homophobia. Read more at the Center for Black Equity.
2009 ~ Transgender Day of Visibility:
Rachel Crandall called for a day dedicated to celebrating the lives and accomplishments of transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Through the power of social media and the internet, this holiday gained traction and is now recognized every March 31st.
- Marsha P. Johnson: A Black transgender woman and activist, and self-identified drag queen. She is a key figure in LGBTQ+ activism, specifically with the Stonewall Uprising.
- Sylvia Rivera: A transgender woman, activist, and self-identified drag queen who was a part of the Stonewall Uprising. Alongside Marsha, they created the group STAR, that supports homeless transgender youth in the United States and overseas.
- Freddie Mercury: A British singer, songwriter, and lead vocalist for the band Queen. Freddie was a gay man who passed away in 1991 from AIDS complications.
- Laverne Cox: An American actress and LGBTQ+ advocate, who was the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy since Angela Morely in 1990.
Make sure to read our blog on What is LGBTQIA+ Affirmative Therapy, to know what you can expect in getting started with that service at our group in Simi Valley!
3 Ways to Support an LGBTQIA+ Teen: Stand up for them when they are and aren’t around
One vital way to support an LGBTQIA+ teen is through standing up for them or defending them both in their presence and when they are not with you. This could be for them specifically, or for the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.
A scenario could be at a family or friend gathering. Some individuals may not agree, acknowledge, or understand things such as gender identity or pronouns, or LGBTQIA+ rights. It can often be the subject of inappropriate jokes or downplaying the legitimacy.
You can be a true ally through vocalizing your support and taking social action, such as voting or spreading awareness. If it’s safe, you could also provide space for open conversations with others, such as for answering questions, sharing important statistics or information, and more.
June is Pride month, which dedicates the entire month to celebrating, honoring, and highlighting significant LGBTQIA+ history and current day events. It’s essential for you to continue recognizing and talking about LGBTQIA+ culture outside of Pride month as well.
By continuing to connect with your LGBTQIA+ teen, understand their needs, and find ways to help them feel supported and accepted for who they are. This can help strengthen your relationship with them and cherish the wonderful person they are.
In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you. Another great blog to read is ours on if you need Therapy or Medication to address your issues, as well as information on Therapy: Where to Start.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either.
Consider calling our therapy group at (805) 774-1506 for a free consultation on how you or a loved one can get started today!
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide trauma therapy, teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.