While LGBT families are becoming far more open in today’s society, with legal protections and acknowledgement, there are still a lot of hurdles to be faced. One of the most common issues that we hear about with LGBT families is that their friends and relatives are still questioning their lifestyle, the health of their family and children, and whether their marriages are legitimate. Today, we’re going to look at some of the questions and topics you may be dealing with from your loved ones.
Understanding What Sexual Orientation Means in Your Life
Many people are still very confused by LGBT families because they think it is a choice or an issue of discord between yourself and members of the opposite sex. It is important for your loved ones to know that your sexual orientation is a natural attraction rather than a response to trauma, resentment, or any other factor in your life. You are not someone who needs to be fixed because you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. There are four parts of your sexuality, as defined by the American Psychological Association. These are: 1) Your biological sex, determined by the organs you are born with; 2) Your gender identity, referring to your psychological identity as male or female; 3) Your social sex role, as determined by your tendency to adhere to cultural norms; and 4) Your sexual orientation, in terms of who you are attracted to. There are many who will argue whether the fourth factor is determined by your genetics or your upbringing and early childhood experiences. Yet, the truth is that this is not really the point. Your sexual orientation may be shaped by biological factors, psychological factors, and/or social factors, and you may be entirely different from someone else who identifies as you do. In the end, what matters is that you are happy with your life.
Are the Children of LGBT Families in Greenville, South Carolina, More Likely to Be Abused?
For many LGBT parents, this is the most insulting question that their loved ones can ask them. Yet, it is a question that is often asked. Far too many people assume that those who identify as LGBT are sexual predators. In many cases your friends and family may not think this of you, but they may think that it is the case with the person you love. It is important to note here that sexual orientation is not related to perversion. There have been studies and extensive research into the topic, and those who do abuse children identify as heterosexual in the vast majority of abuse cases. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that LGBT parents are more likely to abuse their children or have their children abused by others. If you have people asking you this kind of insulting question, remember that they have been misinformed and misguided by those who preach intolerance and ask them to learn the facts.
Are Kids in Greenville, South Carolina, LGBT Families More Likely to Be Bullied in School?
This question is more understandable, as everyone is aware of the likelihood of children being bullied in school for a variety of reasons, including having a different family background than their peers. This has been true for children of single parent homes, for children without parents, and for children with LGBT parents. Having said that, all children are at risk of being bullied in school for a vast array of perceived differences. They can be bullied for wearing glasses, for being short, for being tall, for wearing a different style of clothes, for liking different books or music. The important thing is to ensure that all children are taught to stand up to bullying and not let others harm their psychological wellbeing. For most children in LGBT families, they are actually going to get more support at home and be more comfortable coming to their parents with any challenges they may face.
For example, imagine a heterosexual family scenario in which a boy who is small for his age is bullied at school. Yet, in this case, the boy doesn’t feel comfortable talking to his parents about the bullying. He may feel that they will blame him for lacking in sports talent or for failing to live up to their expectations. This is just an example, but it is likely one that you’ve seen before or at least similar to something you’ve witnessed. To compare this to a child from an LGBT family, the child is far more likely to feel comfortable talking to his parents about bullying, because there’s a good chance that they started the conversation. When parents let their kids know what is right, what is wrong, and when to talk to an adult, they are less likely to be severely harmed by bullying behavior. LGBT families know what it is to be bullied. Many of these parents have experienced discrimination and hate in their own lives and they are prepared to deal with any challenges that may arise by talking about it and taking action where necessary.
Will a Child in a Greenville, South Carolina, LGBT Family Grow Up to Also Identify as LGBT?
It is not impossible for a child who is raised by LGBT parents to grow up to also identify as LGBT. However, it is not any more likely to happen than it would in a heterosexual family. Studies and research have shown that kids are not more or less likely to identify as LGBT as adult when raised in an LGBT family. If it does happen, it is only because anyone can grow up to identify as LGBT, regardless of their family background. However, the child is going to know that they have the support and love of their family, no matter what sexual orientation they have as an adult.
Are You Facing Legal Challenges in Your Greenville, South Carolina, LGBT Family?
Another important thing to be aware of is that LGBT families are just as at risk for marital problems, custody problems, and other legal problems as heterosexual couples. They also often face the challenge of adopting a child or completing a step parent adoption. If you need an understanding LGBT family attorney in Greenville, South Carolina, contact Greenville Family Law to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help.