Family Pride: What LGBT Families Should Know about Navigating Home, School, and Safety in Their Neighborhoods (Queer Ideas/Queer Action)

Family Pride: What LGBT Families Should Know about Navigating Home, School, and Safety in Their Neighborhoods (Queer Ideas/Queer Action)

Michael Shelton

Language: English

Pages: 191

ISBN: 080700197X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

An invaluable portrait and roadmap on how to thrive as an LGBT family
The overwhelming success of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” YouTube project aimed at queer youth highlighted that despite the progress made in gay rights, LGBT people are still at high risk of being victimized. While the national focus remains on the mistreatment of gay people in schools, the reality is that LGBT families also face hostility in various settings—professional, recreational, and social. This is especially evident in rural communities, where the majority of LGBT families live, isolated from support networks more commonly found in urban spaces.
Family Pride is the first book for queer parents, families, and allies that emphasizes community safety. Drawing on his years as a dedicated community activist and on the experiences of LGBT parents, Michael Shelton offers concrete strategies that LGBT families can use to intervene in and resolve difficult community issues, teach their children resiliency skills, and find safe and respectful programs for their children.

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remain unscathed; members report anger, frustration, depression, guilt, anxiety, and loneliness stemming from passing. Most such people I interviewed reported that living a secret life was also stressful because disclosure could inadvertently occur any day. Overhearing a negative conversation regarding homosexuals led parents to days of worrying—what will happen to us if we are discovered? Finally, many reported that their current lifestyle was simply too emotionally draining. Living “on the edge

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who reviewed the state of knowledge of LGBT health in 2011, “No matter what we looked at, there was a paucity of research in the available literature.”6 Gaps included • Most research relies on convenience samples, instead of large, random sample surveys • Most of the research focuses on adults, not youth • Most of the survey participants live in large cities (According to Garofalo, “We don’t know what it’s like to be LGBT and live in

church by remaining a hidden minority; her fellow congregants were able to elide the topic rather than confront the antigay comments by the preacher. If she had remained childless, she might still be a member of the church, but with a four-year-old son in tow, hearing messages of hate, even if they occurred rarely, was too much. Choice Three: Working from Within While some LGBTs have forsaken organized religion altogether and others have moved onto more welcoming denominations, some

to protect the physical and emotional safety of their children and themselves in this environment. LGBT families frequently experience discrimination—and sometimes harassment—in daycare and school settings, medical settings, at the playground, in religious communities, in their neighborhoods, and even within their own extended families.”4 The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force introduced the first national LGBT antiviolence program in 1982 with an emphasis on both quantifying this violence and

societal stigma, homonegativity, and internalized homophobia and heterosexism, but this is a tough sell for neighbors when well-known figures are promulgating untrue, derogatory information. To these individuals, gay men and women are threats to their own families as well as the community at large. For out LGBT families, particularly those in middle- and upper-income brackets, there are interventions for hate crimes, violence, and discrimination. For example, BiasHELP, a Long Island agency

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