The Gay Dad Project is an online forum geared toward family members who grew up in or now live in a seemingly heterosexual household where one parent has come out as being gay. The blog is focused on encouraging family members to share their stories and connect with others who may have similar experiences. It also provides encouragement and support for family members who are learning how to process their parent’s sexual identity, including how to deal with social prejudice and how to remain supportive to both parents as they navigate the changes in their relationships. Check out this great resource at www.gaydadproject.org
Holiday and post-holiday depression is a common problem in the United States. But it can be even worse for LGBT individuals who are dealing with family rejection, discrimination, or homophobia. This is because holidays are centered on connecting with friends and family. For those of us who are alone, isolated, or without family, feelings of sadness and loss can be overwhelming. This can lead to depression and even further despair if left untreated. Over 17 million Americans most likely suffer from the effects of depression. Symptoms include a loss of interest or enjoyment in normal activities, an overall loss of energy, the inability to sleep well, or difficulties in being able to concentrate.
It is important to remember that depression is treatable and that there are people available who understand what you are going through. The LGBT-Affirmative Therapists Guild offers an online listing of providers who can help address concerns that may be contributing to your depression (lgbtguild.com/therapists.html). There are also community resources where you can connect with those who will relate to your struggles. The LIKEME® Lighthouse, at 3909 Main Street, has walk-in hours throughout the week, and PFLAG of Kansas City (www.pflagkc.org) offers support groups for those struggling with understanding sexual identity.
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Calif.) calls for an end to LGBT conversion therapy (or gay reparative therapy) under the federal Stop Harming Our Kids (SHOK) resolution. California recently passed a ban on the use of reparative therapy in treating minors who are struggling with their sexual identity. This form of therapy has been deemed unethical by nearly every major medical authority in the United States. However, several licensed mental health therapists and psychologists, including some in the Kansas City area, continue to use this approach unethically. The federal resolution, though non-binding, is the first of its kind to help end the use of such harmful practices. You can learn more at: lgbtguild.com/reparative.html
The topic of gay marriage often involves discussions about fighting for rights, dealing with repeals and bans, but here is an inspiring music video (geared towards youth) that promotes diversity in all forms of relationships, including gay marriage. You can watch the video at: lgbtguild.com/youth.html.
Last but not least, feel free to sign a petition encouraging the designation of Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas as a hate group. The White House petition was created last month and already has over 300,000 signatures. The group has inappropriately picketed many events, from funerals to celebrations. They threatened to protest at the funerals of those killed last month in the Connecticut massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School (deemed as God’s judgment due to accepting homosexuality). Counterprotesters appeared, and Westboro Baptist members did not leave their Connecticut hotel. You can sign the petition at: lgbtguild.com/hate.html