By Nicole Blackson
Heteronormativity is embedded in our faith institutions, our laws, our schooling, family practices, media, and workspaces. This norm enables parents to perpetuate the oppressive practices to their own children.
Goal: To create affirmative spaces for LGBTQ children in their homes first, so they can be better equipped to thrive in their society and the world at large.
Time expected: 30 – 45 mins
Materials needed: Honesty, courage, pen & paper are optional
Participants: Parent(s) & child(ren)
Objective 1: Check your beliefs (Parents, do this section alone)
Question 1: What did you hear about this as a child from your family, from society?
Question 2: What do you believe now?
Question 3: How do I want others to treat my child?
Objective 2: Check your actions (Do with your child & ask their input)
Question 1: How do I show support & affirm my child’s existence and being?
Question 2: How do I oppose or minimize their truth?
Question 3: What new behaviors do I want to implement?
Objective 3: Check your environment (Do with your child & ask for their input)
Question 1: Are you inviting to others your child knows or brings around?
Question 2: Am I open to talking about this on an ongoing basis?
Question 3: Can your child talk to you about their relationships, their life, themselves?
**If you’ve answered no to any of these questions, spend more time sifting through objectives 1 & 2 until you create a foundation of love & acceptance of your child. Only move onto Objective 4 when you have allowed acceptance and love to take over fear.
Objective 4: Create an affirmative space (Do w/your child)
Task 1: Identify other LGBTQ people you love, admire, are successful who have similarities to your child.
Task 2: Write down at least 10 attributes of your child and share it with them.
Task3: Have your child write an affirmation for themselves. An affirmation is a thought, a belief you know to be true and want to embody.
For example: “I am divinely & uniquely created;” “I walk in my purpose;” “Everything that happens is for my good;” “God loves me, this I know”
Say it to your child every time before they leave your presence.