Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Latter-day Saint Families With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Children

The San Francisco State University-based Family Acceptance Project (FAP) has launched a new program to prevent suicide and homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in Utah. Building on work that the FAP has done in partnership with agencies and religious leaders in Utah, the new program focuses on increasing the likelihood that the state’s LGBT teens will receive a positive, affirming response when they share their identities at home. As FAP founder Caitlin Ryan and other researchers have documented, harsh judgment and rejection by family members are strong predictors of risk for LGBT young people. Faith-based work is an important element of FAP’s family and community outreach. Of the approximately 5,000 youth who experience homelessness each year in Utah, at least 40 percent are LGBT and the majority are from religious or socially conservative homes. Ryan said that the program tries “to help families understand that they don’t have to choose between their LGBT children and their faith.” Ryan and Marian Edmonds Allen, a United Church of Christ pastor and the director of the new program, will do direct outreach in a range of venues. “We want to work with families before they kick out their kids,” Edmonds Allen said. “I am going to go systematically around the state so people can learn about these resources.”

Population of focus: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Mormon Youth

Links to resource:

Date: 2012

Organization: Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University