Friends & Family
On this page you will find information and advice for friends and family members of LGBT people. There is lots of help and support for friends and families of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people ranging from support groups, advice and tips on how to be a great ally and provide help and support.
Here are a few suggestions for how you can help to support LGBT people
Confronting homophobia, biphobia and transphobia when you hear it, even if there are no LGBT people present at the time. Let people know that offensive comments are unacceptable and hurtful.
Be open-minded and respect and accept what a person tells you
If a person tells you they are feeling a certain way, accept it - that is how they are feeling and that those feelings are valid. It can be hurtful when people doubt or question LGBT people about their feelings and identities. Accepting and using people’s preferred pronouns and identities is also important. If a person prefers to be called ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ or that they prefer to be referred to as ‘he’, ‘she’ or neither then respect their wishes and refrain from using other words or pronouns to describe them.
Be sensitive when asking questions
Just because someone has come out to you doesn’t mean that they will want to or will be able to answer all of the questions you may have. Reading about LGBT people, their histories and cultures and attending LGBT events are effective ways to learn more about LGBT people and great ways to show your support.
Don’t 'out' a person to other people
If someone has come out to you they may not want anyone else to know, they may want to tell others in their own time – or not at all. Unless they ask you too, it is not your responsibility or right to tell others.
Try to use gender neutral language
By assuming people are heterosexual, it can make it difficult for people to talk about their sexual orientation or partners if they are not heterosexual or out about their sexuality. By rephrasing questions, for example ‘are you seeing someone’ rather than ‘do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?’ or words such as ‘partner’ and ‘other half’ can show people that you are open and accepting, it allows LGBT people, should they wish, to feel comfortable speaking about their sexuality and partners and avoid awkward explanations and discussion. Gender neutral language is also best practise to use in your every day as it isn't always clear what pronouns a person uses to idenity with. By using gender neutral language, we minimise the chance of misgendering people.
Confront your own views and opinions
Addressing and reflecting on stereotypes, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and prejudice, though sometimes may be uncomfortable, can help you to understand common issues affecting LGBT people and perhaps highlight things you can do differently to become a great ally and friend.
If you are a friend or family member of an LGBT person and you need some advice and support we are here for you too. If you would like to talk through a problem or a worry with someone, you can speak to a member of our team at any time between 10am -10pm on 0845 3 30 30 30 ( charged at local call rate) alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team will respond to you within 72 hours. All emails are confidential.
There are also a number of resources and support groups that you can access:
National organisation for friends and families of lesbians and gays
Manchester Parents Group
Avoluntary organisation which supports families and friends of lesbians, gays and bisexuals. They meet on the 1st Saturday of every month at Taurus bar on Canal St from 2-4pm http://www.manpg.co.uk/
A discussion group based in Manchester, they meet once a month at LGBT Foundation and welcome family and friends of trans* people who need support.
www.transforum.org.uk or contact Jenny-Anne on email@example.com
The Gender Trust
This charity helps and supports Trans People and all those affected by gender identity issues. http://gendertrust.org.uk/
Imaan supports LGBT Muslim people, their families and friends, to address issues of sexual orientation within Islam. It provides a safe space and support network to address issues of common concern through sharing individual experiences and institutional resources. http://www.imaan.org.uk/about/about.htm
Proud 2 B Parents
Proud 2 B Parents group are a service for LGBT parents to be, LGBT parents and their children across Greater Manchester and its surrounding boroughs. Their services include: a monthly drop-in, a youth group for children of LGBT parents, activites and events and much more http://www.proud2bparents.co.uk/
Our LGBT Foundation resources are designed to help LGBT people and their friends and family, please read through ones you feel may help you to have a better understanding of LGBT people, the community, some of the most common issues affecting LGBT people.
The Kids Are Alright! Is our guide for parents and families of lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning people. The guide aims to answer the question from parents or family members, “I think my child is gay, what do I do?” It contains helpful tips that parents can do to help support their child.
Faith Book is our guide to celebrating faith and sexual orientation for LGBT people. The aim of this resource is to reassure lesbian, gay bisexual and trans people that whatever your personal beliefs there will be others who can support you.
You can find all of our resources here and download if you wish to for free!
Gendered Intelligence have produced a helpful guide for Parents and Family Members of trans people which you can download for free here
It’s pronounced metrosexual is a great online resource full of easy to read articles to help explain some of the most common LGBT issues and some of the most misconceived ideas about LGBT people. There is lots and lots to look at on the site, you can find links below to a few articles that we think you may find particularly useful:
· LGBTQ TERMS DEFINITION LIST
Become clued up on all the terms related to sexuality
· THE ‘GENDERBREAD’ PERSON
The Genderbread person is a really useful for understanding gender identities
· 30+ EXAMPLES OF HETEROSEXUAL PRIVILIDGE
Learn about some of the inequality between heterosexual people and LGBT people and some of the injustice LGB&T people can face on a daily basis
· WHEN TO (AND NOT TO) USE THE WORD GAY