What does it mean to affirm your child?

Family support and acceptance means actively affirming a child’s identity to build their self-worth and self-esteem. The Family Acceptance Project, a leading non-profit supporting LGBTQ+ people, offers research-backed examples of how to affirm your child.

  • Express affection when your child tells you, or you learn that they are gay or transgender.
  • Ask your child about their LGBTQ+ identity even though you may feel uncomfortable. Support your child’s gender expression.
  • Require that others respect your LGBTQ+ child, and advocate for them if they are mistreated because of their identity.
  • Welcome your child’s LGBTQ+ friends and partners to your home.
  • Connect your child with an LGBTQ+ adult role model and to supportive organizations or events.
  • Talk with clergy and help your faith community to support LGBTQ+ people.
  • Believe your child can have a happy future as an LGBTQ+ adult.

This doesn’t mean that you have to hide your feelings as your child will know if you aren’t being honest. You can share your concerns if any and let them know that you love them. In families where acceptance is high, the majority of LGBTQ+ youth believe that they can have a happy, rewarding life as adults.

Protecting your child

The stigma and discrimination often experienced by LGBTQ+ youth increase their risk for substance use and addiction. You can protect your child by affirming their identity, encouraging healthy behaviors and responding effectively to signs of use.

Getting help when needed

If your child needs help for a substance use disorder or addiction, it's important to consider their specific needs as an LGBTQ+ person.

Additional resources

Connect with the LGBTQ+ community and begin discovering how to become a stronger ally for your child.

The Family Acceptance Project

Uses a research-based, culturally grounded approach to help ethnically, racially and religiously diverse families learn to support their LGBTQ children.

Visit their site
The Trevor Project

Offers educational resources for parents through the Trevor Support Center, where individuals can find answers to frequently asked questions and explore resources related to sexual orientation, gender identity and more.

Visit their site
PFLAG

PFLAG is the nation’s largest family and ally organization with more than 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters across America.

Visit their site
Connect with a specialist now

Our support is free and confidential. Specialists are ready to listen and help you find answers for yourself and your child. Servicio disponible en Español.

You will receive a response to text or email within 24 hours