WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – For many LGBTQ people, coming out to their parents is a daunting or even frightening task. As outlined by an article in the Journal of Research on Adolescence, children often have their identities rejected by parents.
Caroline Morin, Executive Director of the LGBTQ Center of the Cape Fear Coast, recently spoke to WECT about her experience and shared some local resources for parents.
A web-exclusive extended interview with Caroline Morin, executive director of the LGBTQ Center of the Cape Fear Coast
“My individual household was a loving and supportive place, but we never talked about LGBTQ people or issues or what it meant,” said Morin. “For me, that really just left a void that was filled by the rest of society with a lot of very negative messaging.”
Morin explained that confusion from parents is reasonable and incredibly common, but support of children’s and adults’ identities is critical for the well being of LGBTQ people. The Human Rights Coalition, Trevor Project, American Association of Pediatrics and others found that support of LGBTQ people’s identities consistently improves physical and mental health outcomes.
“[I try to emphasize to parents nowadays] that neutrality isn’t enough, because oppression is so much stronger. And so if we want to raise children of any type, whether they’re LGBTQ or not, without shame and fear, then we need to be doing more than just being neutral or saying that everybody is normal or everything is OK.” Morin said. “It’s OK and acceptable and desirable to be LGBTQ. I love being queer.”
The University of North Carolina Wilmington has created list full of LGBTQ-friendly groups, local churches and physical and mental health services as well.
Online, the Trevor Project provides myriad resources about LGBTQ people alongside contact information for anybody with questions. The Human Rights Coalition has basic glossary of LGBTQ-related terminology and information.
(Note: LGBT, LGBTQ and LGBTQ+ are commonly used interchangeably. Queer is also used as an umbrella term for LGBTQ and gender-non-conforming people. No single term encapsulates the wide range of people’s identities.)
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