Since the decriminalizing of Section 377, there have been multiple people ready to get married and start parenting. But ofcourse, as an Indian Community, we’re still exceptionally backward when it comes to the right of the LGBT people of India. Why is that, you ask? It’s mostly from the strong cultural dependence we have on our traditions and religion.
While we are still far from the hopes of such a world, we can help our current young ones strive for better, so that with time, they push or even more – break these boundaries of the law of our land.
This is for the parents who support the LGBT – teach your child about the rights of humans, all humans, so you can watch the world become a better place by your teachings. Parenting that creates a home environment of acceptance helps spread awareness. This can give LGBTQ kids in India a guiding light, against the hate that they usually receive.
Here are a couple of ways to introduce the LGBT community and support the possible LGBT in your child:
Talk to your child about it, with respect to age:
Talking to your child is THE best way you can try to bring about sensitivity to them. You must not be afraid to talk about this topic, especially at an early age. When you eradicate biases towards specific genders or sexual orientation in an everyday conversation you instil thoughts about normalcy and acceptance into them. This will make your child more open-minded as well as trust you more, especially if they ever, when older, have to talk about this with you.
Get familiar with LGBT terms:
Terms like ‘hermaphrodite’ and ‘chukka,’ while common, are offensive and inaccurate. Teaching your child the difference between acceptable and unacceptable terms goes a long way. This knowledge that you inculcate in them will sooner than later be expressed to their peers. Spreading such knowledge only helps the LGBT community.
Make sure your child is always aware of how much you love them:
We cannot tell you enough. One of the main reasons a child doesn’t come to their parents when they realize their sexual orientation is because of fear of being unaccepted. When a child feels supported at home, they’re less likely to go out of their way and look to the internet. If your child, however, feels uncomfortable talking to you about certain issues, identify another responsible adult that can take your place. Whatever you do, make sure you are on the same page with your child.
Identify a group of trusted, supportive adults and peers:
This group of people will be the point of contact for your child. Make sure your child is openly comfortable toward all them and they too are willingly comfortable to your child. It is the best way to keep your child safe and give them a strong inner circle of love and support. While you must include family and immediate friends, also look for people a lot like your child, if they do ever come out, they will find it safer to be surrounded by those like them so as to not demotivate or feel lonely.
Discuss what healthy relationships look like:
As a grown-up, it is important to make a clear and stark difference between unhealthy and healthy relationships. Always tell them that even if they do get into an unhealthy relationship that they have every choice to get out of it. The world does not stop moving if they leave someone toxic. Keep reminding them that the world is a big place and in such a big place, there is always space.
Encourage your child to build their strengths and interests:
Encourage your child to take an active part in their own growth. This is so that they gain a personality that isn’t just their sexual orientation. When they fall or come short, they can reflect on their achievements – small or big, and feel better about who they are as a person. Plus, it’s always fun to gain a couple of solid hobbies. During times of need, it is to these hobbies that we run, which welcome us with open arms.
Let your child hear you:
And we mean this by every sense, your child should listen to you. By watching who you are as a person, learning your ways and thoughts and opinions, they too can become a better person. A child learns best through their parents, so always remember to be a good role model. Correct people’s negative opinions, regardless of what they may be about. And do so in a calm and logical manner. This will slowly reinforce your acceptance of your child, regardless of who they are and who they will be.
Make aware of the stigma in society:
Love and support from your end will always be good. But if you keep your child in the dark about the outside world and their stark contrast opinions, your child may have a pretty hellish time. Explain to them about how certain religions condemn the LGBT, how laws can go against the rights of your child and how they will have to go through alot as they grow up to be accepted as a normal average human being.
It can be exceptionally overbearing to your child, but the truth hurts. It’s best that they hear about the real world from their closest supporter. When they do get to know, you can hold them up and make them feel less alone.