Who We Are
We are a group of parents in South Birmingham and Worcestershire whose children have 'come out' to us as gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT). We may have more than one such child!
However, although many parents are accepting and affirming of their different children, sometimes parents or grandparents can be particularly shocked and distressed to discover that a member of their family is gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans (LGBT). Many of us grew up in a different society where being homosexual was demonised, labelled a mental illness, or indeed a crime. Many of us may remember the derision and bullying of LGBT people at school which continues even in our generation.
Consequently parents' feelings may include disbelief, denial, disapproval, anger, shame, guilt, grief and fear for themselves or their child. They may not know who to turn to for advice, for information, or to share their feelings.
You can check out the Gender Recognition Act of 2004. Trans people also receive protection under the Equality Act 2010 for the first time, gender reassignment being one of the nine protected characteristics.
What We Do
New Road Parents' Support Group serves two roles.
Firstly we provide a listening ear for parents and other family members of LGBT people. We are all people in similar circumstances and may have been through similar emotions. We listen and talk together in complete confidence about how we feel, and we learn from one another how to be accepting. Our society still makes things difficult in many ways and we explore common misunderstandings and fears; cultural and religious factors; ignorance and prejudice. Our LGBT sons and daughters need love, support and understanding, as indeed they always have. We offer guidelines and encouragement in forging a new honest relationship with a son or daughter who has come out.
Other parents find they have no difficulty with accepting that their child is LGB or T. For these parents the group provides a forum for discussion on ways to move society forward from its prejudices and make the world a safer place for lesbians, transgender people, bisexuals and gays. Parents in the past have been activists and have taken part in Gay Pride processions in the city, have spoken to church groups (such as the Mothers' Union and Changing Attitude) and written letters to newspapers, magazines and journals. Their stories have been published in the press and magazines and they have lobbied Bishops and MPs. Some have been on radio and TV programmes...
New Road Parents Support is based in Bromsgrove, North Worcestershire, and is aptly named as parents travel down a new road in life when their children come out. We are a voluntary group and meet in a safe confidential meeting place.
We meet bi-monthly (alternating monthly with Birmingham Parents Support group) on a Tuesday evening at 7.15pm.
Phone Margaret for more information (01527 832492) or send an email.
Or contact Birmingham Parents Support Group (bpsg), with whom we also have close links.