Hello everyone, For November’s featured discussion we asked you to share what advice you would give to parents and family members of LGBT people. But the thread is still open for further replies and advice! This could be: Advice on how to respond and support their LGBT children and other family members in specific scenarios (e.g. coming out). Advice on how to support their children and other family members through the additional day-to-day challenges that come with being LGBT. Please share your experiences and together we can create a helpful guide for parents and other family members who visit Empty Closets looking for advice on how to support their LGBT children. ***As we grow up, we all pick up messages directly and indirectly from our parents, wider family and the world around us, including from friends and all forms of media. My daughter is now seven years old and for the last few years I have been aware that she is forming her own ideas about both gender and relationships, which are largely influenced by what society around us portrays as “normal”. In the moments where this becomes apparent I try counteract these message, but as a parent, the best thing to do or most appropriate thing to say is not always readily apparent. They don’t give you a handbook! I also tell my daughter that she can talk to me about anything, but from my own experiences as a child, I know that this is often easier said than done. We can often feel pressure to meet the expectations that we perceive our parents and family have of us, or fear the possibility of a negative reaction. This is sometimes with good reason - only a week ago my stepdad informed me that he would not be watching Strictly (Dancing with the Stars for those of you on the other side of the water) this year due to there being same sex couples, which has made me think twice about coming out to him and I’m in my 30s. However, I do believe that the majority of parents and other family members have the best interests of their children at heart. Parents aren’t perfect though, and they do sometimes make mistakes, which to them might be well intentioned. Clear and open communication can help, but is not always easy with the high emotions and tensions that can exist within families. So, please share your experiences here and help parents and other family members find the best way to support their LGBT children. Parents and other family members can also take a look at PFLAG, which is a charity organisation that offers support and advice to patents and families of LGBT people, and there is also EC’s own For Parents and Family Members of LGBT People sub forum.