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Challenges and rewards of parenting a LGBTQ child

  • Broadcast in Parents
Annie Abram PhD

Annie Abram PhD


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Unconditional love and acceptance is the best recipe for a child’s well being in all areas of life: happiness, learning, healthy relationships with peers, parents, ability to problem solve, etc. How does a parent foster this secure attachment when a child’s development veers far from the norm? Dr. Denise Ajeto will talk about the importance of empathy in parenting typically developing children as well as those whose development is atypical. In honor of June’s Gay Pride month, Dr. Ajeto will talk about her fraternal twins: a lesbian and female to male transgendered son.

Denise M. Ajeto, EdD earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2008 from Seattle University.  Her dissertation, From wounded child to empathic mother: A heuristic inquiry into the experience of parenting sexual minority children, was an examination into the meaning of her experience coming to accept her children’s sexual and gender identities. Her research into empathic parenting explored the relationship between parental empathy and secure attachment and the role these concepts play in healthy identity development in children, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) children. Dr. Ajeto also holds a Master of Arts degree in Existential Phenomenological Psychology from Seattle University and a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Psychology from City University.

Dr. Ajeto’s book, A Soul Has No Gender: Lessons on love and acceptance through the eyes of a mother of sexual and gender minority children, was published in 2009 through Sense Publishers.

Dr. Ajeto resides in Arlington, WA with her husband, Renato. They are the proud parents and stepparents of five grown children and doting grandparents to seven grandchildren.