Cheers to supportive parents

parent holds the hand of a small child. mother holding baby's hand. rainbow lgbt bracelet on parents hand
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

There is a universal experience that nearly all of us face, and it was brought to mind for me this week when a close friend lost one of his parents. We often discuss the grief that comes after such a loss as well as the impending death before it occurs.

In the LGBTQ+ community, we have an additional factor to consider. Are we out to our parents, and how does that affect our ability to cope with the loss and the one who remains? Then there’s the issue of our partners, and to what extent they have been accepted by their families, and how they will support us in our grief.

For my friend, who was in a relationship, the situation was as beautiful as it could be. His family was very accepting and embraced the relationship. He had the opportunity to say goodbye, and he and his partner will be part of the family’s grieving process. I would even go so far as to say I have never seen a family as close and accepting as they are.

I have known them for many years, and watching their family’s closeness has always made me hope that it could be like that for the entire LGBTQ+ community. The love and acceptance shown by his parents have made my friend an amazing leader in our community and city. He embodies the compassion and love that his parents have shown him all these years.

Those of us who witness this kind of family dynamic can draw strength from it and work to change attitudes so that everyone can have a similar experience. Seeing them as a family reminds me of the closeness I shared with my parents and grandmother, and I believe that’s what motivates me to do what I do. This is also what has brought my friend and me so close together. Here’s to those supportive parents and those who encourage us in our relationships and our work for the community.

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