We are proud to announce the launch of our new parent led support group for desi parents of LGBTQI+ children (of any age).
LGBTQI+ individuals (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, non-binary) are born the way that they are. And those that are born into religious or culturally conservative families often face unique challenges due to the intersection of their sexuality, or gender identity, and their family’s beliefs.
Since our Foundation started we have increasingly seen the need to support parents who may be struggling to understand or accept the children they have given birth to.
What are some of the challenges experienced parents?
Parents of LGBTQI+ individuals born into religious or culturally conservative families may face unique challenges as they navigate their child’s sexuality or gender identity within the context of their faith or cultural beliefs.
Parents may experience conflict between their love for their child and their religious or cultural beliefs, which may view being LGBTQI+ as immoral or sinful.
Parents may feel isolated and unsupported within their communities, as they may fear judgment or ostracism from others who share their religious or cultural beliefs.
Fear for their child’s safety
In some cases, parents may fear for their child’s safety and well-being, particularly if their child faces rejection or discrimination from their family or community.
Uncertainty about how to support their child
Parents may struggle with how best to support their child, particularly if they are unfamiliar with LGBTQI+ issues and lack resources or support.
Parents may experience feelings of grief and loss if they had envisioned a different future for their child, or if they face rejection from their own families or community due to their child’s sexuality.
It’s important to recognise and address these challenges in order to provide support and resources for parents, and to create a more accepting and supportive environment for all.
What the some of challenges experienced by LGBTQI+ children?
Rejection and ostracism
Some religious or culturally conservative families may view being LGBTQI+ as a sin, immoral or unnatural, and may reject or ostracise their LGBTQI+ children or family members.
Discrimination and prejudice
LGBTQI+ individuals from religious or culturally conservative families may face discrimination and prejudice not only from their families, but also from their communities and wider society.
Pressure to conform
LGBTQI+ individuals from religious or culturally conservative families may feel pressure to conform to the expectations of their families and communities, which may involve hiding their sexuality, pursuing heterosexual relationships, or even undergoing harmful conversion therapies.
Mental health issues
The rejection and isolation experienced by LGBTQI+ individuals from religious or culturally conservative families can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
In some extreme cases, LGBTQI+ individuals from religious or culturally conservative families may be subjected to physical harm or violence by their families or members of their community.
It’s important to acknowledge and address these challenges in order to create a more supportive and accepting environment for LGBTQI+ individuals from religious or culturally conservative backgrounds.
Help and support for parents
In 2019 we launched Out and Proud Parents Day. Taking place every year on the 30th July, the annual online event is designed to help celebrate proud parents who have accepted their LGBTQI+ children and recognised the need to support other parents.
Rainbow Chai – Support for Parents is a new friendly and welcoming parent-led support group for parents of South Asian heritage. The group leader is a proud accepting Muslim mother of two gay children.
For more information about Rainbow Chai, please visit the dedicated page on our website.