For Parents

Dear Parents, Caregivers, Family and Friends,

If you've found your way to Pacific Pride Foundation's website, there's a chance you might be an avid supporter of your LGBTQ+ child or family member. There's also a chance you've just found out your child's sexuality or gender identity is not what you expected (or hoped) it might be. You might feel confused, alone, and in need of help.

Wherever you fall along this spectrum, whoever you are, Pacific Pride Foundation is here to provide support, information, and referrals that can assist you on your journey. To receive updates on PROUD Youth & Family Programming in South County you may text @socoparent to 81010. In North County, you may text @nocoparent to 81010. To receive immediate clinical support, please reach out to Counseling at Pacific Pride for affordable, high-quality therapy uniquely serving the needs of parents of LGBTQ+ individuals.

In addition to Counseling at Pacific Pride, parents may schedule 20 minute consultations with our LGBTQ+ Program Manager Patrick Lyra, to better understand the identity language their child or loved one may be using -- and to brainstorm next steps needed for the parent and family as a whole to succeed.

When your child comes out...

LGBTQ+ children often spend months, if not years, discovering and deciphering their identities. Once a child opens up, caregivers can feel shock or grief.

Consider: for a child to keep their identity secret is to keep a large part of their self hidden.

Telling a parent/caregiver can be a sign of a child's love, trust, and need for support. And not all LGBTQ+ youth desire to make their identity fully public to the whole wide world. Each individual comes out in their own way, sometimes just preferring to invite a loved one to "come in" to know their full self in a quiet, private manner. Whatever the style, coming out is a gesture of inclusion - an effort to center the parent/caregiver in a full, honest knowing of the child.

Resources

Safe Alternatives for Treating Youth (SAFTY)

1-888-334-2777

The SAFTY program is a mobile crisis & suicide response service available 24/7 to all Santa Barbara County children and youth up to the age of 21.

  • SAFTY provides quick and accessible service to families.
  • SAFTY is for Crisis Calls Only. For general information inquiries please call (805) 366-4040.

PFLAG Santa Barbara

Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the nation's largest family and ally organization.

  • All are welcome—whether struggling with a family member’s coming out, or whether in full acceptance.
  • Second Monday of Every Month 7:00pm @ First United Methodist: 305 E. Anapamu St. (@ Garden)

Contact: Georgia Noble
(805) 560-8621
Send an email

Counseling at Pacific Pride

  • Designed for family and friends of LGBTQ+ clients.
  • Provided on a sliding fee scale based on income and number of dependents.
  • Adolescents & Families welcome!

Contact our LGBTQ+ Outreach Advocate: 
Patrick Lyra Lanier, M.A.
(805) 963-3636, ext. 102
Send an email

TransYouth Santa Barbara

  • A parent support group with concurrent trans teen group
  • Meets first Saturdays of every month, 2-4PM, in Santa Barbara

For location and more information, contact Kathy
(805) 364-2185 
Send an email 

Tips for Adults Supporting LBGTQ+ Youth

Directly provide, and refer LGBTQ+ Youth to, LGBTQ+ supportive and affirming environments.

Reaffirm that LGBTQ+ Youth are not to blame for negative societal reactions.

Encourage LGBTQ+ Youth to speak their truths with little or no adult interruption. Do not correct/patronize. Validate LGBTQ+ Youth concerns.

Strive to learn & use accurate terms (identities, pronouns) for each individual LGBTQ+ youth you are interacting with. Don’t apologize profusely for mistakes. Correct yourself and move on.

Offer any inquiries about an LGBTQ+ youth’s identity as brief, open-ended, and non-judgmental.

Do your own research. Do not force youth to be your LGBTQ+ 101 tutor.

Do not diminish youth efforts to find a rich, creative, affirming language of self. LGBTQ+ Youth actively participate in mapping the full human being beyond and including the domains of gender and sexuality.

On Transgender:

What does Transgender mean?

‘Transgender’ describes people whose deeply felt sense of gender identity is different from their medically assigned sex at birth. This term has been revised to include more than just individuals who transition from a male sex assigned at birth (SAAB) to being an affirmed female, or trans woman (like Caitlyn Jenner)--or from a female SAAB to being an affirmed male, or trans man (like Sergeant Shane Ortega).

'Transgender' also includes Gender Diverse individuals who identify between the male/female ends of the binary, off the binary entirely (Non-Binary), or as both male & female simultaneously. This includes folks who identify as genderfluid, bi-gender, agender (like our LGBTQ Outreach Advocate Patrick Lyra Lanier), genderqueer, gender-neutral/neutrois, & more. As is always the case, each individual can tell you more about their gender identity and what it means to them!

What does 'Non-Binary' mean?

'Non-Binary' usually refers to those Transgender individuals whose gender identity falls off the male-female binary entirely--such as those who are agender, genderqueer, gender-neutral, & more. These individuals typically experience their gender, or an aspect of it, as neither male or female.

What does 'Cisgender' mean?

'Cisgender' is the word for people who are not Transgender. If the doctor looked at you as a baby and said "It's a boy"--and you grew up feeling like a boy--then you're a cisgender male. If the doctor looked at you as a baby and said "It's a girl!"--and you grew up feeling like a girl--then you're a cisgender female. The prefix 'Cis-' roughly means 'on the same side' ; the prefix 'Trans-' means 'across' or 'away from.'

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