Parents of Gay Kids: “LEAD with Love” Doc and a Special Book

You’re a caring parent who’s discovered your child is gay and you want to do and say the right things—despite your own shock and/or struggle. Some up-to-date resources for parents of gay kids include a film you can watch for free online or on DVD as well as a brand new guidebook. Both aim to answer specific questions many parents will commonly have.

I. LEAD with Love (2011)

Behind this are two clinicians, Jennie Mackenzie, PhD, the film’s director, and David Huebner, PhD, whose research (backed by the National Institute of Mental Health) led to the idea for putting together this engaging documentary.

Watch the trailer below:

“LEAD” (with Love) in all caps? Below, from their website’s “Information for Parents and Youth,” an explanation of this as an acronym:

When parents hear the news that their son or daughter is lesbian, gay, or bisexual, they oftentimes freeze and think they don’t know what to do – they stop parenting all together. But it’s actually more important than ever that you be a good parent at this time. And we believe that most parents already have the skills they need to keep their families and children healthy. You’re the parent. It’s your job to LEAD in this moment. Here are some specific ways for parents to LEAD during this time:
L et your affection show
E xpress your pain away from your child
A void rejecting behaviors
D o good before you feel good

Read the related several-page guide for details on how to follow through on LEAD or refer to the one-page “cheat sheet.” Also, of course, check out their list of resources for parents of gay kids.

You can watch the 30-minute-plus film Lead for Love online after completing a mandatory but very brief survey.

II. This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life (2014)

Authors Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo are the co-founders of both Everyone Is Gay and The Parents Project. Lots of information and assistance is available on both sites.

A video intro to their new book, out tomorrow:

Although it’s apparently too soon to find many reviews, here’s the glowing recommendation from Mother Magazine:

An excellent read no matter what your child’s sexual orientation or gender identity, the book follows a Q&A format, so parents can quickly skip to the questions and concerns that apply to them. Those include ‘I think my very young child might be gay. What should I do?’ ‘Am I allowed to ask questions?’ ‘When should I tell people?’ ‘My child wants to come out at school, but I am concerned for his safety.’ ‘How will I handle sleepovers?’ and so forth.

In addition to answering this huge bucket of questions in a very thoughtful and helpful manner, the authors also share their own coming out stories, as well as share the perspectives of third-party parents and kids, offer a large list of resources, a Safe Sex 101 guide, and a whole lot more.

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