Are you parenting a child who is questioning their sexuality or gender?
We are a group of parents and carers in Worcestershire and South Birmingham area, whose children have come out to them as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Non-binary or Gender-fluid. There are other categories too. We may have more than one such child and they may have come out at any age from very young into adulthood.
Whilst many parents are accepting and affirming of their LGBTQI+ children, for some, including other family members, it can be a shock and a loss. It is difficult to believe that their child can think or feel this way. Parents and Grandparents can be particularly distressed to realise that their child is not the person they thought they knew, and their expectations for the future are dashed.
Our feelings may include disbelief, denial, disapproval, ridicule, shame, guilt, blame and fear. We may feel responsible in some way – as if we have failed as parents. We may fear for ourselves or our children in an unaccepting society or culture. It is difficult to confide in friends who do not understand the depth of our feelings, and some religions are discriminatory which may add to our distress.
Our support meetings are run on a peer to peer basis. They are completely confidential and run by volunteers who are also parents of LGBTQI+ children. Our meetings are a safe place for parents to share feelings, learn and better understand how we can accept and support our young people.
We meet generally on the third Tuesday evening of each month.
New Road Parents has been supported by the Allen Lane Foundation, Tesco Bags of Help and Redditch District Council.