All youth require a safe home and social support to mature and develop the skills needed to transition to adulthood. Among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or other diverse identities (LGBTQ+) youth, having affirming families and friends is associated with improved mental health and better child welfare outcomes. Find resources in this section intended to help families support their LGBTQ+ youth; understand what to expect; and learn how to talk about a number of issues that may be impacting their youth.
Coming Out: Information for Parents of LGBT Teens
Provides parents with responses and information about common phrases that teenagers use when they are exploring their sexual orientation.
Ending Conversion Therapy: Supporting and Affirming LGBTQ Youth (PDF - 10,704 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2015)
Presents research, clinical expertise, and expert consensus on therapeutic practices related to children's and adolescent's sexual orientation and gender identity, and makes the case for eliminating the use of conversion therapy among this population.
The Family Acceptance Project ®
San Francisco State University
Works to decrease major health and related risks, such as suicide, substance abuse, HIV, and homelessness, for LGBTQ+ youth in the context of their families. The initiative uses a research-based, culturally grounded approach to help ethnically, socially, and religiously diverse families decrease rejection and increase support for their LGBTQ+ children.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Explores some of the health issues and inequities affecting LGBTQ+ communities. This website offers resources for LGBTQ+ youth and adults as well as health care providers, public health professionals, and public health students.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Supports LGBTQ+ people, their families, friends, and allies locally and nationally by providing PFLAG chapter helplines, support group meetings, advocacy, and resources. PFLAG's resources for families and communities on sexual orientation, gender identity, and LGBTQ+ issues include Coming Out, Our Trans Loved Ones: Questions and Answers for Parents, Families, and Friends of People who are Transgender and Gender Expansive (PDF - 946 KB), and Be Not Afraid: Help Is on the Way! Straight for Equality in Faith Communities (PDF - 2,139 KB).
Tips for Parents of LGBTQ Youth
Sanders & Lamont Fields
Johns Hopkins Medical
Explains clear directions for parents seeking to support their LGBTQ+ youth, including learning information about various sexual identities, engaging youth in conversation, and staying involved with school.
Tips for Raising an LGBTQ+ Foster or Adopted Child
Creating a Family (2019)
Provides concise tips to raising a child who identifies as LGBTQ+.
Family Support: Resources for Families of Transgender and Gender Diverse Children
Movement Advancement Project
Explains the importance of family acceptance in supporting transgender youth’s mental health. This page also provides research and practical tips for supporting gender diverse children and youth.
Gender-Diverse and Transgender Children
Defines terms and provides recommendations for parenting gender-diverse children and youth, including how to respond to identity disclosures and recognizing signs of mental health challenges.
Gender Health Services: Resources for Parents and Families
University of Rochester, University Counseling Center
Provides websites and books designed to help parents become advocates for their transgender children and youth.
Our Trans Loved Ones (PDF - 961 KB)
Highlights a resource that shares information, first-person stories, and advice for individuals who have a loved one who identifies as transgender or gender expansive.
Helps connect the parents of transgender youth to support groups and information to build their capacity to care for their children.