Friday, June 16, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Strong Family Alliance

With Father’s Day fast approaching and Pride Month ongoing, it’s time to highlight an organization that provides support to both fathers and mothers of LGBTQ+ children, Strong Family Alliance.

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, Strong Family Alliance (SFA) is a non-profit organization focused on supporting parents of children in the LGBTQ+ community. Their mission is “to save lives and preserve families by helping children come out and parents become informed supporters and allies.”

The reason to create an organization focused on parents stems from these statistics: LGBTQ+ children who are rejected by their families are 8 times more likely to report suicide attempts, 6 times more likely to report higher levels of depression, 3 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3 times more likely to be homeless. 

The people behind Strong Family Alliance consider themselves first responders because they target parents who haven’t decided whether or not to accept their child in the initial days after their child comes out. SFA provides parents with non-political, research-based information as a way to help build understanding and strong relationships between parents and their LGBTQ+ children.

There are two downloadable guides on the website. One is focused on LGBQ youth, the other addresses issues specific to transgender youth. Both guides have three sections. Basic information includes vocabulary, myths that stigmatize LGBTQ+ people, risks for your child and the journey for parents. Ways to support your child includes actions that can help (keep talking and listening to your child), actions that can hurt (telling your child it’s just a phase) and tips to build your child’s self esteem. Challenges ahead provides information on managing emotions, telling others and becoming an ally.

The website also has a page of resources, including information for children on coming out to your parents, and stories from parents describing their experiences. Parents with a story to share can do that here: share your parent story.

If the story of Strong Family Alliance has inspired you to support them, you can do so by making a donation and amplifying their message on social media. Follow Strong Family Alliance on Facebook, on Twitter @sfamilyalliance and on Instagram @sfamilyalliance. 

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