Family acceptance and support is significant for the well-being of youth. This is no different for LGBT youth. Family responses to expressions of gender and sexual identity by youth may vary. Although some are supportive, accepting, and even celebratory, others may respond and behave in ways that have negative consequences. Research by the Family Acceptance Project demonstrates a strong link between family rejection of LGBT youth and negative physical and mental health outcomes for them.1 Further, compared to LGBT youth who experienced little or no parental/caregiver rejection, those LGBT youth who were highly rejected were:
A just-released report of findings from a survey of more than 10,000 LGBT youth ages 13–17 (using a convenience sample, which may not be representative of all LGBT youth) found that approximately one in four identified non-accepting families as the most important problem in their lives.3 These findings illustrate the importance of family acceptance and support in the lives of LGBT youth. Moreover, non-LGBT youth may be raised in LGBT-headed families, which research shows are growing in number.4 It is equally important for youth-serving agencies and communities to enhance their cultural competence in working with LGBT-headed families.
1 Ryan, 2009; Ryan, Huebner, Diaz, & Sanchez, 2009
2 Ryan, 2009; Ryan, Huebner, Diaz, & Sanchez, 2009
3 Human Rights Campaign, 2012
4 Krivickas & Lofquist, 2011; For more information see the UCLA Williams Institute Census and Demographics LGBT Studies
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