Family Rejection of GLBT Teens Has Dire Consequences
- Did you know that 4 in 10 homeless youth are GLBT?
- Over 40% of the homeless either were kicked out of their homes or ran away from home due to abuse and because they were not accepted for their sexual orientation or gender identity?
- LGB students in grades 7 through 12 were up to three times more likely than heterosexual teens to have experienced school expulsions, police stops, juvenile arrests, adult convictions?
- Family rejection puts GLBT youth at high risk for social isolation and depression?
- Rejected GLBT adolescents were over three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts?
Family Acceptance Makes All the Difference
These poor choices that depressed teens can make such as suicide and substance abuse can be counteracted by family acceptance. Caitlin Ryan, Ph.D., founder of the ongoing Family Acceptance Project at The Marian Wright Edelman Institute at San Francisco State (http://familyproject.sfsu.edu) found that LGBT children whose mothers and fathers showed them unconditional love had significantly higher levels of self-esteem, mental health and social support.
First Major Study of How Families Affect Their LGBT Children’s Risk and Resiliency
Dr. Ryan’s ongoing Family Acceptance Project (FAP) is directed and developed by Dr. Ryan and Rafael Diaz in 2002. The project, which studies families in the U.S., Mexico, S. America, and Europe, is a Research and Intervention Initiative that studies the influence of family reactions on the health and mental health of LGBT adolescents and young adults. It is designed to:
- Study parents’ families and caregivers reactions and adjustment to an adolescent’s coming out and LGBT identity.
- Develop training and assessment materials for health, mental health, and school-based providers, child welfare, juvenile justice, family service workers and community service providers on working with LGBT youth and families.
- Develop resources to strengthen families to support LGBT children and adolescents.
- Develop a new model of family-related care to improve health and mental health outcomes for LGBT adolescents.
FAP Supportive Families, Healthy Children Voted No. 1
“Designated 1st “Best Practice Resources for Suicide Prevention for Gay & Transgender Youth” by National Registry. More than 100,000 copies of the family education booklets have been disseminated across the U.S. and other countries for use in schools, primary care and behavioral health programs, foster care and juvenile justice services, family service agencies, suicide prevention programs, pastoral counseling and faith-based organizations. They are also used in colleges, universities, professional training programs and by government agencies.
Agencies and community groups that use the Family Acceptance Project’s “Best Practice” materials and family intervention approach report substantial positive changes in prevention and practice.
Download their booklet “Supportive Families, Healthy Children at:http://familyproject/sfsu.edu/publications.