Dear Unaccepting Families and Grandparents of LGBTQ+ Minors,
I’m discussing the “Agree to disagree” approach to LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance. I write to you today to address a harmful and all-too-common mindset that I believe is tearing families apart. As someone who has seen the damage this mindset can cause, I implore you to reconsider. I mean, my mother, when I came out to her, told me, “Well, you will make an ugly woman anyways.” She did this as a form of dismissal indicating I shouldn’t even try to transition.
Let me be clear: when it comes to fundamental human rights, there is no room for “agreeing to disagree.” Every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This includes LGBTQ+ minors, whether they identify as non-binary, trans, or any other gender identity.
As a society, we have come a long way regarding LGBTQ+ acceptance, but we still have a long way to go. For many LGBTQ+ individuals, their families are their primary source of support and love. But for too many others, their families are a source of rejection, shame, and pain. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from LGBTQ+ individuals who have been kicked out of their homes, disowned by their families, or made to feel like they are somehow “wrong” or “abnormal.”
Here’s the thing: when you refuse to accept your LGBTQ+ child or grandchild, you do not just disagree with them. You are denying them their fundamental human right to be who they are. You tell them they are not worthy of love and respect simply because of who they love or how they identify. And when you cling to the “agree to disagree” mindset, you are actively choosing to prioritize your discomfort or disapproval over your child or grandchild’s well-being.
I understand that this can be a complicated issue. It can be hard to let go of our preconceived notions and biases. But at the end of the day, our job as parents and grandparents is to love and support our children and grandchildren, no matter what. We don’t have to understand everything about their lives, but we do have to accept and respect them for who they are.
So I urge you to reconsider the “agree to disagree” approach. Instead, try to listen with an open heart and mind. Educate yourself about LGBTQ+ issues and seek out resources that can help you better understand your child or grandchild’s experiences. And above all, remember that love is the most important thing.