Resources and Support for Latter-day Saint Parents with LGBTQ Children
Whether you are a parent of a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer child who has recently come out or you are looking for information, resources, and support for parents trying to navigate what it means to be a Latter-day Saint or Mormon with an LGBTQ child, this is the place for you.
If your child has just come out, you've likely been searching for good information to guide you and you've likely found a vast amount of websites, documents, video and other resources online representing a wide range of perspectives and experiences. You're also likely feeling overwhelmed by it all.
Our goal is to provide you a simple clear place to start. Thanks to the tireless efforts of so many good people, this resource bring together information that we hope you'll find helpful and empowering as you navigate your journey as a parent of an LGBTQ child. Much of the content in this resource has been created by Latter-day Saint families and professionals. While this is not an official resource of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, some of the information and links in this resource is from official church sources.
"I’m the LDS parent of a gay son. Several years ago I found myself with hundreds of thoughts and questions running through my head. My son had just told me he was gay. I was confused, sad, terrified, and felt very much alone. I googled, searched, and read for hours on end trying to find answers to the endless questions. It was a difficult time for me. Now, years later, I believe having a gay son has become one of the most wonderful, enriching, and beautiful experiences of my life."
How to Use This Resource
This resource has several sections that you're encouraged to progress through to become better informed and empowered as the parent of an LGBTQ child.
Here you’ll learn that your absolute love and support for your gay child will dramatically reduce his or her risk for depression, drug abuse, and suicide. Conversely, your criticism and rejection will increase those same risks. Unless you make every effort to protect your child NOW, the rest of the information in this resource will not be useful!
This will introduce you to the church website mormonsandgays.org where you can easily spend 2-3 hours on the website. There you’ll find a clear message: Our Heavenly Father dearly loves his gay sons and daughters–and so should we! You’ll also find answers based on Church teachings to four key questions: (1) Is having same-sex attraction a sin? (2) Is this a choice; who is to blame? (3) Can my child get rid of his or her same-sex attraction? and (4) Is my gay son or daughter welcome at church?
Here you'll learn current science-based information on same-sex attraction. Depending on your interest, you may find this information very useful and informative; or you may want to skim through it now, then refer back to it as questions arise.
Where Can I Find Information And Support?
This section includes descriptions and links to additional resource materials and support groups. You’ll want to explore, read, and maybe attend some events so you can find the things that best meet your needs now and into the future. Remember, families are forever, so we’re in this for the long haul.
Videos and Stories
Here you’ll read and view personal messages that offer valuable perspectives.
Love and Patience are Crucial
There are two things that you'll want to do when your child comes out.
First, focus on your child and not on your immediate reaction and emotions. You may be surprised, confused, and in disbelief. These are natural responses, but at the moment of your child coming out, it is critically important that your child knows that you love them and will always love them. They need to hear that from you. Tell them. Tell them that God loves them and will always love them as well. No matter what, your LGBTQ child is still your child and they are still a child of God. Their coming out to you will be a moment they remember vividly for the rest of their lives. Be sure that your love and God's love is included in that memory.
Second, reach out to other parents who also have LGBTQ children. You may not know any now, but be assured: You are not alone. There are many parents within the Affirmation community that you can turn to and who will welcome you with open arms and hearts. You'll find support. You'll hear stories and share your own. You'll find encouragement to be patient with yourself as you navigate this new reality in your family.
Remember that your child is unique, so your experience as their parent will also be unique. This means that not everything you learn from this resource or from other parents will be equally relevant or useful for you. It's nearly impossible to not make mistakes along the way or experience setbacks as a parent of an LGBTQ child, or as a parent in general. That's okay. What's important is that you're willing to better understand and that in all things you remind your child of your love for them. Remember too that your child has their own agency and are responsible for their long-term future. Your responsibility is to focus on the immediate present. What you do and say right now will make a profound difference for you and your child.