LGBTQIA+ Initiative

Current estimates report that there are approximately 3.2 million LGBTQIA+ youth between the ages of eight and eighteen living in the United States. There are also over half a million same-sex couples raising children and these numbers are increasing daily.

LGBTQIA+ youth and LGBTQIA+ parents are more likely to experience discrimination, harassment, violence, trauma, homelessness, unemployment, and mental health issues than their heterosexual counterparts are. Parents of LGBTQIA+ youth face unique challenges when it comes to raising their children.

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In 2021, we received several requests from our partnering organizations and parents, including partners in child welfare and family support programs, to help them in supporting LGBTQIA+ families who are underserved by mainstream family service and education providers. Service providers are asking for our support in gaining the skills, programmatic capacity, and access to resources in order to create equitable outcomes for LGBTQIA+ children, youth, and families. Be Strong Families is dedicated to uplifting and healing youth and families together and at the end of 2021 we dedicated our “Show Your Love for Families” annual campaign to support this initiative.

This initiative will further Be Strong Families’ allyship to the LGBTQIA+ community and more deeply root our internal and external Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) stance. It will also ensure that this request for new Café decks, training, and supportive services from our parent partners are implemented. Currently our LGBTQIA+ initiative includes the following:

  • Co-creating with LGBTQIA+ families and LGBTQIA+ serving organizations, two new Parent Café decks (one for parents whose children are identifying as gender expansive and/or queer; one that with questions that address the needs of LGBTQIA+ parents) as well as training that includes an introduction to the LGBTQIA+ community, research and best practices, family dynamics, and supportive approaches. 

  • Collaborative research and development of an LGBTQIA+ youth empowerment resource that includes a non-binary approach to adolescent development. 

  • Partnering to encourage child welfare providers in the Be Strong Families community to gain certification through the All Children All Families initiative of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to enhance and improve their services for LGBTQIA+ youth.

  • Continuing to create transformative change by including and showcasing issues of LGBTQIA+ youth and their families, LGBTQIA+ parents and caregivers, and service providers in our daily English and Spanish webinar series, Staying Strong and Positive for Ourselves and Our Children.

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Loving and Affirming LGBTQIA+ Children

Do you know parents who love their children, but still struggle with supporting their LGBTQIA+ identity?

Pre-order our newest Café Booster deck Home Is Where the Heart Is: Conversations to Love and Affirm Your LGBTQIA+ Children and get your name recognized as a producer.

There are terrible outcomes for LGBTQIA+ kids whose parents reject them – they end up on the streets, in child welfare systems, dying by suicide. And often the parents who are doing the rejecting, love their children, but have religious or cultural beliefs that are in conflict with their children’s identity. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. Programs working with such families asked us to develop this Café so that they could talk to each other about it. The content and design are done, we just need $5000 to finish the production.