LGBT protections

US Capitol Building

Ellen DeGeneres Packs Her Bags, But We’re Still Unpacking Her Message

On May 23rd, The Ellen DeGeneres show, after its 2003 debut, ended.  Who would believe today that Ellen had a tough time selling the show, but she did? She had come out on her own show “Ellen,” a sitcom that ran from 1994-1998 when ABC axed the show in which she was not allowed to…

young male carrying rainbow flag

School Board Overrules Fl. Superintendent re: Yr. Book Stickers

Like any high school yearbook, Longwood, Florida’s Lyman High School, considered to be one of the best in the state, will have room for the usual autographs in their yearbooks: “Have a good summer!”  “I’ll never forget our English class!” and the two-word message when you can’t think of anything else: “Good Luck!” What they…

monarch

Denial: What not to do when your child comes out

Coming out is fraught both for parents and their LGBTQ+ children. Your child has likely carefully planned what they’ll say, perhaps they’ve even rehearsed it in front of the mirror or with a friend. They’ve probably been thinking about their sexuality for months or years. They’re coming to the conversation prepared. You, however, might be…

Cinderella's castle as framed with a pair of Minnie Mouse ears

Keep Politics Out of Disney!

You go to Disney because it’s magic and fantasy!  Built out of swamp land, children and relatives come in droves (58 million tourists this year) to see animals and humans unite.  It’s akin to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s masterpiece by Edward Hicks “The Peaceable Kingdom.” The children don’t care if Mickey and Minnie are…

Amy Schneider

Defeated by Jeopardy’s Final Question, but Not in Long Run!

Final question:  “The only nation in the world, whose name in English ends with an ‘h’ and is also one of the 10 most populous.” Brainiac Amy Schneider was defeated by this question after winning 40 straight games and winning $1,382,800. (Yes, you read that right!) Her lead was upset by a Chicago librarian Rhone…

LGBTQ protestors marching down a street

The Unintelligible “Parental Rights in Education” Bill

Does anyone understand this bill dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” Bill #1557 in Florida?  According to Education Week, it does NOT mention the term “gay” or “LGBTQ+ community by name.  Nor does it prohibit students at any grade level from talking about their LGBTQ+ family members or themselves or acknowledging the existence of gay people.” But…

man in library looking at a book

Growing Up Gay May Give You An Academic Advantage

A new study, Intersecting the Academic Gender Gap:  The Education of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual America, published in The American Sociology Review in 2022, purports that growing up gay gives that population an academic advantage. This survey was written by Joel Mittleman, a University of Notre Dame sociologist, and concluded that based on his three…

father talking to son in a field

Just When You Thought You Knew It All….

O.K. you’ve mastered the basics:  you know what non-binary means.  It means a person who doesn’t identify with being defined as male or female.  You know that sex is assigned at birth, but it also can refer to the sex act, short for sexual intercourse. That said, what is gender?  It’s social, a personal expression. …

Family sharing dinner together

It’s National Nutrition Month.  How’s Your Teen’s Eating & Exercise Regimen?

Did you know that: Researchers have found more than 1/2 of young LGBTQ people between 13 and 24 have been diagnosed with an eating disorder. Gay males were 7 x more likely to report binging and 12 x more likely to report purging than heterosexual males. Females who identified as lesbian, bisexual or mostly heterosexual…

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

The “Don’t Say Gay Bill” has passed in the House. What does this mean for Parents and LGBTQ+ Students?

The nuclear family has changed in America.  LGBTQ+ parents can create their family through surrogacy or adoption.  Often, you see brown or persons of color in the same family as Caucasians.  Or mixed race children.  Sometimes, grandparents or relatives, because their children have mental health conditions, have custody of their grandchildren and are the primary…

Florida State Capitol

What’s In Store for LGBTQ+I Students in Florida Classrooms?

This has been quite a week for education bills proposed re: future of LGBTQ+I students in the classroom.  Fueled by Governor DeSantis, the Republican-led majority advanced a bill on February 7 that will have to continue in two more committees before it reaches the Senate floor and the Governor’s pen. If passed in the Senate,…

Pope Francis

O Ye of Faith, Why is His Holiness Giving Mixed Messages

This week, His Holiness Pope Francis, 85, urged parents in his weekly General Audience to not “hide behind an attitude of condemnation” but to “accompany” LGBT children.  Those children, The Pontiff believes, are children of God, loved by God and therefore deserving of accompaniment by the church. While the 266th Pontiff, aged 85, thanked nuns…

mom talking to daughter

This article was originally published in the NYMetroParents on July 19, 2016. The information contained in the article is still applicable, based on my book When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know, co-authored with psychiatrist Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.  Luckily, as of July, 2021, there are more than twenty-two U.S. states that…

coming-out

Coming Out: Preparation is Key

This article was co-written with Nasir Fleming and originally published on the HuffPost Contributor Platform on 10/2/16. The advice is still pertinent. Coming Out: Preparation Is Key (Tips from a Straight Mother & Gay Teen) It’s my favorite time of year again: pumpkin spice flavored beverages, warm clothing, and barely starting to get a hang on…

close up of male gay couple over pride flag

Coming Out as Transgender: How Should A Parent React?

 The world seems to be exploding with gender choices.  It’s hard to keep up with all the terms, but as a parent, you may want to know the basics such as: Cisgender: sense of a personal identity and gender corresponds to sex assigned at birth. Gender identity: personal sense of one’s own gender – who…