Children today have grown up on the internet and may know how to navigate through clickbait sites and unhelpful apps. However, it can be difficult to find the right LGBTQ+ resources and communities among misinformation. The main thing they want is support and understanding from those they love so by reading this, you are already on the right track!
How to find reliable resources
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to turn for help, especially when it comes to very personal topics. Children who identify as a part of the LGBTQ+ community may not feel comfortable speaking directly to you. They may prefer to speak to a counsellor or support group, or may prefer to read up on the community on their own. So we’ve come up with a few top tips to help your child find safe and reliable online resources and communities to talk about their troubles.
Check the language used on websites – is it a blog? Is the author affiliated with any organisations or do they have any qualifications i.e. are they a counsellor specialising in LGBTQ+ support? Do they have any personal experience of the issue? Is the tone positive or negative when discussing what issues they may face? Checking the language of a resource or LGBTQ+ community can provide insight into how useful and helpful it could be for you or your child.
TikTok was the most downloaded app in 2020 and 2021. Whilst it shares a lot of funny videos and viral challenges, it is also a place where people share their personal stories of coming out. This app and other social media platforms like it shouldn’t be used as a single source for reliable information. However, these personal stories can help your child feel less alone.
LGBTQ+ groups local to your area
Larger charities or organisations may have local meetup groups to help you and your child navigate this time of self-discovery. Check their accreditation and search for reviews online to see how supportive the group is and who they are run by. This can also tell you what the regularity of meetups are and whether they are in-person or online.
Groups focused on parents of LGBTQ+ groups normally have pages on Facebook while youth-focused groups tend to have Instagram profiles with details about their meetups.
Charities and organisations
There are many youth-focused charities such as Ditch the Label that are here to help young people at all stages of life. There are specifically LGBTQ+ charities such as The Trevor Project, which provides counsellors for children to talk to as well as an online community to get help.
Make sure to check the registered charity numbers of any online LGBTQ+ communities for children and what kind of support they can provide.
Find charities that have a specific focus like youth issues or youth identifying as LGBTQ+ for content that is specifically curated for young people. This will help them find others similar to them.
Ditch the Label has a large online community where young people can talk about their troubles including coming out and finding their identity if they need a place to start.