by Dannielle Owens-Reid & Kristin Russo, co-founders of My Kid Is Gay
Every single project we’ve undertaken over the past four years has been informed by the requests we’ve gotten from our readership. Up until very recently, that readership was made up of LGBTQ young people who asked for our advice on a daily basis over at Everyone Is Gay. They are, and always have been, an incredible group of supportive and wonderful people, and they are very, very good at letting us know how we can help them!
When, in 2011, many of our readers asked us to come and talk with their fellow students and teachers at their schools, we took that question seriously. After several years of visiting schools (shout out to Ohio for having a million billion of ‘em), we realized that there was one question that was being asked over, and over, and over again: “Can you please help me talk to my parents?”
So, here we are.
My Kid Is Gay actually began as an idea for a book, where we set out to write a question-and-answer guide for parents whose kids had recently come out to them in a succinct and easy-to-understand manner. In writing it, we came to discover that the reason so many of our readers had asked for this resource was because it didn’t exist!!! You can read a bit more about the ins-and-outs of our book in this interview with CoolHunting, but let’s get to how it inspired the creation of My Kid Is Gay!
When we wrote This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids, we included a resources section so that we could provide additional materials for families that needed them. We were shocked to find very, very few. PFLAG is a resource that exists for families and friends of LGBTQ people, and they have been around for well over 40 years — however, their primary focus is on-the-ground work with community members in their 350+ local chapters. While these meetings are incredibly meaningful and much-needed, there are a lot of families who don’t feel quite ready to put their faces and names and bodies out there with others, even if they are facing similar questions and experiences.
That is where My Kid Is Gay comes in, existing as a first-of-its-kind an digital presence for parents whose kids have recently come out them. With My Kid Is Gay, we aim to provide a safe space for parents to look for answers, learn about the community, and discover things they wouldn’t have thought to bring up with their kid otherwise. We saw the power thatEveryone Is Gay had because of the fact that so many of its readers were able to remain anonymous, ask questions anonymously, and see that so many others shared in the same experiences — and we knew that this would be essential for parents as well!
So, we now have over 20 different contributors (and growing!) who are parents themselves, young people who have gone through similar processes with their families, or experts on specific issues such as gender identity, sex education, and more. We write a piece just about each week ourselves, where we use our own experience as people who have gone through the process with our families as well as our constant dialogue with LGBTQ young people to help inform our answers to the parents who write in!
We are pretty proud of what My Kid Is Gay is becoming, and we would love to hear from you if there are things you want us to include — just send us an Ask!
Click through to read about our contributors!