Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday giving at its best: Building a healthier LGBT Mormon youth

Most of us spend our holidays with our families—our siblings, parents, and extended relatives that we love, and who love us in return. Having just returned from Christmas with my own family, I’m reminded how blessed I am to have a family who loves me for who I am: an openly gay Mormon.

But many gay Mormons aren’t so lucky. Often, when a Mormon parent finds out their child is gay, they feel forced to choose between their child and their church. And when they look for resources to help understand and respond to their LGBT children, they’re directed to programs based on opinion, not on science—and this often has tragic consequences.

But now we have an alternative.

According to the impeccable research done by Dr. Caitlin Ryan of San Francisco State University’s Family Acceptance Project, LGBT young people whose parents reject them are: More than eight times as likely to attempt suicide, nearly six times as likely to report high levels of depression, more than three times as likely to use illegal drugs, and more than three times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

An LDS oriented version of the booklet that suggests ways families can insure a safer life for their LGBT children, co-authored by former bishop Robert Rees, can be downloaded here free of charge. You can also order copies of the booklet at cost here, or by emailing

The Family Acceptance Project materials are the only evidence-based guide to be designated as a “Best Practice” for suicide prevention for gay Mormons by the national Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention.

We need your help.

In addition to the booklet, The Family Acceptance Project is developing a series of evidence-based education and support materials for Mormon families with LGBT children. Your tax-deductible donation—whatever the size—will help ensure these materials get into the hands of the families who need them most.

When you donate today, you’ll be helping Mormon families understand there is a healthier way to support their LGBT children—and stay true to what we believe as Mormons—that families really are forever, and how we care for family members on earth affects our family for eternity.

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