Out Proud Families is a place to find resources, information, perspectives and connections for supporting families, caregivers and other important people in the lives of children and youth of diverse gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations. Out Proud Families has a special focus on developing and sharing resources for families and youth of diverse cultural backgrounds.
Out Proud Families resources include:
- Information and perspectives via articles and blogs.
- Resource pages filled with links to videos, articles, information and organizations.
- Presentations, workshops and dialogues.
Why Out Proud Families?
If all families and caregivers supported our children of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations, the world would be a much more welcoming and accepting place for everyone.
- Children would be less likely to bully or be bullied based on perceived gender or sexual orientation.
- Young people would be much less likely to take their own lives.
- Young people would not face pressure to prove that they are “boy/man” enough or “girl/woman” enough.
- Children/youth wouldn’t miss school because they are bullied and would be more able to learn and thrive at school.
- Young people would have healthy self-esteem and lead happier lives.
- Young people would be free to be themselves, without fear of rejection or expulsion from the home.
- Families would be more peaceful and united.
- Families would not face judgment and stigma because they have lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) or gender creative children.
We all have gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. There is a pervasive misconception that our gender is either/or, one or the other. We are labeled “boy” or “girl”, “man” or “woman” and expected to look and behave in specific ways, based on our gender label. From a very young age, we find ourselves in gender boxes that dictate what is acceptable to wear, how we are expected to behave, what emotions are okay to show, and who we can and cannot choose as our partners. In real life, gender is much more diverse and fluid. Nobody fits neatly into those gender boxes and there are big time taboos against stretching too far outside of them.
Stereotypes, misconceptions, and social and family pressures can get in the way of our ability to fully accept and support all of our children. Misinformation may lead us to believe that there is something wrong with our children if they don’t live up to expectations based on gender. Pressure from relatives, church and community may make it scary and confusing to support our children publicly. The process of acceptance and “coming out” in support of gender creative and LGBTQ children looks different for every family, yet there are some common threads.
Families of color and mixed race families have unique challenges and strengths. We are gradually seeing more diversity among families that speak out openly in support of their gender creative, transgender and LGB loved ones. These families are playing a crucial role in letting other families know that they are not the only ones. There are still few resources that address the unique challenges faced by communities of color and mixed race families. Furthermore, many immigrant communities lack access to bilingual resources. Out Proud Families seeks to address this gap by sharing existing resources and creating more.
Love and commitment to family are motivating factors that compel many to support their children, both inside and outside of the home. Some families are immediately supportive, while others go through a process of learning to accept and embrace their children. Although some families never accept their children, many experience a profound shift, opening their hearts and minds, unlearning bias and prejudice, and more fully embracing their children and all of humanity. It is this transformative power of family and love that motivates the work of Out Proud Families. And by coming out in support of our LGBTQ and gender creative loved ones, we make it easier for other families to do so.