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"Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child"

  • Broadcast in Parents
Annie Abram PhD

Annie Abram PhD


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Homosexuality as an identity is increasingly acceptable in our society. However, we have a long way to go in offering help to children and their families as a gay child struggles with his/her identity, and makes the decision to come out. We need to find ways to be supportive to families and the individual child. The dynamics of a family are invariably changed when a child comes out and the family needs to be considered as a system in order to begin to come to terms with their child's identity.

Parents often feel stigmatized, and believe that they have not succeeded in being a good parent. "What did I do wrong?" Kids may blame themselves for even feeling any sort of sexual attraction to a same sex person, and fear they could lose their family, if it was even hinted at.  Although many parents suspect their child is gay, it is rarely a topic that is addressed openly before the child comes out.

Today's guest, Dr Michael LaSala, the author of "Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child,"  will help us understand the complexities of this concern and how we can navigate them.

Michael C. LaSala, PhD is a psychotherapist and associate professor at the School of Social Work at Rutgers University. He has been in practice for more than 30 years and he currently treats LGBT individuals and families at the Institute for Personal Growth in Highland Park, NJ.

Dr. LaSala’s book entitled “Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child” is available from Columbia University Press and describes the findings and practice implications of a National Institute of Mental Health funded qualitative study of 65 gay and lesbian youth and their families.