Dr. Francesca Gaiba was published recently speaking to the importance of family support throughout the LGBTQ coming out journey. In the Rewire article, Gaiba shares insight from coming out narratives in LGBTQ communities and emphasizes the lasting impact one’s coming out story can have.
Citing findings from a recent study conducted by Elizabeth McConnell and Drs. Michelle Birkett and Brian Mustanski, Gaiba writes, “adolescence is an especially critical time for LGBTQ people, who show higher rates of suicide attempts or thoughts, substance abuse, and depression than straight and cis adolescents, and higher rates of victimization. Those who lack support show adverse mental health effects, such as increased risk for suicide, depression, and use of illicit substances.” Gaiba mentions the same study also found, “LGBTQ youth with low family support who have a strong network of support from their peers and their significant other not only showed lower levels of distress, but also experienced increased support from their family over the course of adolescence.”
Gaiba urges families of LGBTQ youth to be aware of threatening political climates and to educate themselves and their communities about sexual orientation and gender identity. Gaiba offers several resources to assist families in creating a supportive environment for their LGBTQ children. ISGMH thanks Dr. Gaiba for her compassionate advocacy on behalf of the SGM community!
You may read the full piece here.