Posted in LGBT Families

Teens/Parents in the LGBT Community…

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Respecting the parent and the teen is possible!

How did we get here? A question you might be asking yourself. I challenge you to flip it!

Here we are…so, let’s do this!

Being a parent of a LGBT teen provides different questions to ask yourself. How can I support my child if I don’t believe that this is really them? I don’t believe in being ‘gay’; how can I still love my child? Or I see that they are who they are…but I’m still the parent and how do I support them safely?

All of these questions are logical at any time during your teens growth; take out the concept of LGBT and you still have valid parenting questions. You are doing your job if you are still asking questions and growing!

LGBT Teens are still teens and need to be raised as such! They still have to follow family rules and complete family chores. You can still not like who they are dating and who their friends are. It is the why that matters! Trust the teen you are raising to make choices you have modeled for them.

Provide safety in the conversations you have with them; not judgmental. The talking, the conversation, is the gift your child brings to you.

* Provide information and learn together. If they are questioning their sexuality, support the child not the concept by finding healthy information about the community and how they can learn about themselves while living in your home.

* You are the parent, monitor their friends. Healthy friends (you and your child can list what that will look like.) YOU WILL NOT LIKE ALL THEIR FRIENDS; that is a fact of parenting. ARE THEY HEALTHY; do they promote well-being in your teen? Remember the gay teen that you dislike your child being around, is someone else’s child and they might be full of the same questions.

* There is a dangerous side to everything in life. The internet is a FABULOUS place to find safe group meetings and activities. Please remember that it also has lots of people that look for children with parents that try to ignore or hate the ‘gay’ fact away…they wait until your teen can’t take another day isolated…then they are there. So find safe together; maybe even together and uncomfortable…but together.

* Your teen loves you. Most do not look at someone of the same sex and say, “Now that would really hurt my family!” Most of the time there is immediate shame and fear of who they are on the inside. They need you.

Here you are! You and that sweet child becoming an adult…Here you can stand together…

“If I have to pick a day I can make a difference in….Today…would be the answer!” 

@MCPorterLPC

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter MA

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Posted in Establishment of Self

Story Pieces~

ImageStory pieces in the LGBT community are not all fairy tales; some are of painful interaction with family, friends, or self. Stories that tell of the coming out or the solidification of one’s self as a whole person. Pieces of the ‘story puzzle’ that don’t make sense until they are put together. My job, my passion…putting together the pieces with love and respect.

Growing up, I knew that my filter looked different than others. I did not jump to conclusions about people but instead questioned the building of self they used. My family was not a ‘feel good’ family but one that believed in self growth. Never standing still in fear or ignorance, we hunger for knowledge! We respect the ability WE OURSELVES have to understand, accept, deny, or have faith in all things.

Pieces that make sense SOMETIMES to me:

* If I can see, truly see, where you are…I can respect it. What pieces are you working on and how do you want them to look? Who are you ready to allow to see them? For me, getting to the real self was the most important thing….it was not the prettiest but it is the most comfortable skin I’ve ever worn.

* Respect yourself, when telling your story understand that you are allowing others to hear and participate in what is now a piece of them too. If you are not ready for someone else to be apart of your story~ Respect yourself and wait to share.

* Enjoy who you are becoming during the journey! I am forever a learner and I love that…I grow and as I grow the details and the edges in my story puzzle soften and become more malleable.

*In this moment …I is me… to the best of my ability

          • We did not change as we grew older; we just became more clearly ourselves.

Lynn Hall

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter MA

Posted in LGBT Coming Out

What do you say?

552452_372727219507220_2138674930_nThe younger LGBT community has a voice that is different than the voice of the 1980’s. I can say that because I’m older; not dead but older. I have people ask in different settings, “What should I have said?” “How do I know what is the right way to let the family in on the ‘family’?” As the decades pass, the answer changes with words but not meaning. “Be truthful with yourself” ,”Stay true to yourself”, or “Be true to thine own self” and all of those statement lead to one reality; being true to one’s self looks different for every person.

I know…right! That is not a clear answer, there is no cut and dry response to inner peace. There are a million paths that lead you to the one true fit for you! I have some guidelines that I have pieced together over the years that have helped my true self grow.

* I am forever learning. I do not claim to be done with life’s education on people, places, and things.

* I stay open to love changing the way it looks to me; I accept that everyone loves a different someone.

* I take responsibility for the areas I may need growth in and reach out for the knowledge I desire.

*Do no harm to others. I accept that I am not responsible for other people’s actions, nor are they mine. I can chose to respect where they are at; in that moment. Many friends, family and loved ones have met me where I was…

My viewpoint of life has changed over the decades, my need for you to ‘see’ me the way I see you is not the same. What is still true? The belief that one should be true to thine self. Respecting yourself and others can help in finding inner peace.

“It’s not what you look at the matters, it’s what you see.”

-Henry David Thoreau

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter MA

Posted in Establishment of Self, LGBT Families

Summer with “Family” and Family…

ImageSummer is a great time to get together with the ones you love!

That can look any way you decide for it to. Make your summer fun for you by building your calendar of solutions first. What will that look like? What are the possibilities you have?

*If you know, just as in any family, that members do not get along then set up dates to be with different sections. Instead of taking on everyone at one time; take small portions. Allow you and your partner to be a team in supporting each other during the difficult interactions.

* If you are introducing your new partner to your family this summer; set it up for success. Introduce them to someone who is warm and welcoming first and allow them to establish a connection. Then add members into the mix; no need to overwhelm them with 25 people who don’t like the fact that you are in love. View the decision-making as respecting your partner and yourself by allow your level of stress to not skyrocket. Remember, these are people you love meeting someone you one, handle with care.

* If this summer is your coming out; make it about being you not about your family. You have been living in your mind for your whole life; your family has been on the outside of that mind. They might have known something was different but until it is talked about, it is simply not the same. Being you is being the person they love, so let them love you, even if that takes some uncomfortable conversations to get there. Set yourself time limits for conversation and then step back to breathe (everyone). The steps may not be easy but they are doable!

Be at peace with the journey and know that there will be ups and downs…work to set up successful interactions; that may be 10 minutes in the same room with no one killing the other or hugs for all! You will not know the outcome until you attempt the journey.

Much Respect,

Melinda Porter MA