Saturday, August 13, 2011

Film - Lead with Love

There's a good video for parents of gay children that's recently been produced by some folks at the University of Utah. You can see it here. It runs for 35 minutes (well worth the time).

I like the fact that the psychologists in the film gave four concrete suggestions for parents. They used the mnemonic LEAD for these:
  • Let your affection show.

  • Express your pain away from your child.

  • Avoid rejecting behaviors.

  • Do good before you feel good.

This is useful advice. If you want to skip into the section of the film where these are explained, jump to approximately the 20 minute mark.

I think these points are helpful as background for gay people who come out to parents. When you come out, you should realize that even the most accepting parents are going to have powerful emotions and will probably go through a period of adjustment that feels like grieving. Your parents may seem to withhold affection from you and push you away with rejecting behaviors at first. It helps to understand that this is just their way of reacting and that given time their attitude toward you will improve. You just have to be patient and not react strongly to their rejecting behaviors. Maintain faith that they still love you, even if you can't feel their love at first. In my experience, families do come around. It just takes time in some cases.

Here's a preview clip (2 min 39 sec) of the film:

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