If your Child is Gay or Lesbian

“If your Child is Gay or Lesbian “

…is a new report published by Parent’s Support, a voluntary group of parents of gay or lesbian children, designed to assist parents in dealing the issue of “coming out” in the family context launched today, by Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Dr Tom Moffat T .D.

“This booklet brings together the advice and experience of a number of parents who have come to terms with the fact that their son or daughter is gay or lesbian -I am sure it will prove to be a valuable resource for parents throughout the country.”, said the Minister.

“The National Health Promotion Strategy 2000- 2005 acknowledges the need for research into the health and lifestyle behaviours of the gay and lesbian community in order to prioritise health promotion programmes for these groups. There is a clear commitment in the Strategy to “support the development of partnerships with families and relevant bodies to promote a holistic approach to the physical and mental well being of children”, he added.

” Through initiatives such as this we have moved a step closer to ensuring that we have an inclusive health promotion policy which equally promotes the health and well-being of all members of society .The overwhelming final response from parents was one of support and love. This message should bring hope and support to anyone worrying about what to do, said the Minister, who concluded by announcing that “the Health Promotion Unit of my Department has agreed to fund a third print run of this booklet in the near future”.

“Many parents of gay and lesbian children feel isolated and may not know that support is available, according to the Report’s authors Parents Support. This group consists of a small number of parents of gay children who are there to listen, provide support and information through this booklet whose print run was funded by Waterford Regional Youth Service.

Parents Support can be contacted through Gay Switchboard where parents will be given telephone numbers of other parents in complete confidence”, said Parents Support.

“The stories’ presented in this publication highlight the stress, and even trauma, for gays and lesbians and their parents as they come to terms with their sexual identity and begin to give expression to that identity within a hostile context” said Niall Crowley CEO of the Equality Authority who hosted the Report’s launch.

“These stories challenge us to build a wider acceptance of diversity across society that eliminates this hostility and addresses this stress and trauma.

The Equality Authority is committed to ensuring that the equality legislation makes a full contribution to creating this new context”, concluded Mr Crowley.

ENDS.

Copies of ‘If Your Child is Gay or Lesbian’ are available from Gay Switchboard Dublin(01) 8721055 or Dublin Lesbian Line (01) 8729911 both at Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. Parents Support can also be contacted at the above address and numbers.

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