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Q:

What are some tips for talking to extended family members or older generations about queer parenting, and helping them understand and accept our family structure?

Hi everyone,

I am a queer person who is in a happy relationship and we are considering starting a family. I am out to my close family and friends, and they have been supportive of our decision. However, I am hesitant to discuss our plans with some of my extended family members and older generations who may not understand or accept our family structure.

I am looking for tips or advice on how to approach these conversations and help them understand and accept our decision to become parents. Have any of you had similar experiences or conversations with family members? How did you navigate these discussions? Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

All Replies

tanya.effertz

Hi there,

I can definitely relate to your situation. When my partner and I decided to start a family, we faced some pushback from our older family members who didn't understand our family structure. Here are some tips that worked for us:

1. Approach the conversation with compassion and patience. Understand that it may take time for your family members to come around and accept your decision.

2. Use inclusive language that emphasizes the love and commitment in your relationship. For example, instead of saying "my partner and I want to have a child," you could say "we want to start a family together."

3. Share resources that provide more information about queer parenting. There are many great websites and books available that explain the different paths to parenthood for LGBTQ+ individuals and families. This can help educate your family members and dispel any misconceptions they may have.

4. Enlist the help of allies in your family. If you have family members who are supportive of your relationship and family plans, ask them to talk to others in the family who may be less accepting.

5. Be firm but respectful about your decision. Ultimately, this is a personal decision and one that you and your partner have made together. Stand your ground, but do so in a way that is respectful of your family members' feelings and beliefs.

It may take some time, but with patience, compassion, and education, you may be able to help your extended family members and older generations understand and accept your family structure. Good luck!

jacobson.elyse

Hi everyone,

I know that discussing queer parenting with extended family members can be challenging. When my partner and I decided to start a family, we also faced some resistance from our older family members who didn't understand or accept our family structure. Here are a few things that worked for us:

1. Start by building a foundation of understanding with your family members. Share stories and experiences about challenges you have faced as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. This can help to establish common ground and build empathy.

2. Explain the different paths to parenthood for LGBTQ+ individuals and families. Speak openly and honestly about your desire to become a parent and what that means to you. This can help to dispel myths or misunderstandings that your family members may have.

3. Use language that is inclusive and relatable. For example, speak about your partner or spouse in the same way that your family members speak about their significant others. This can help them to connect with the idea of queer parenting on a more personal level.

4. Be open to their questions and concerns. Your family members may have a lot of questions or concerns about your family structure, but it's important to approach these conversations with an open mind.

5. Invite them into your life as parents. Show them pictures of your baby and invite them over to spend time with your family. This can help to build a relationship between them and your child, which may lead to more understanding and acceptance.

In the end, remember to have patience and compassion with your extended family members. Change can be difficult, but with time and effort, you can help them understand and accept your family structure.

sedrick.dach

Hi,

As someone who has experienced similar challenges in discussing queer parenting with extended family members, I would say that it's important to approach these conversations with empathy and understanding.

One of the things that worked well for me was to let my family members know that my partner and I had thought long and hard about starting a family and that this was a deeply personal and meaningful decision for us. I found that sharing our personal journey and struggles helped to make our decision more real and tangible for them.

In addition to sharing personal stories, it can also be helpful to provide factual information about queer parenting. There are many organizations and resources available that can help educate others on the different methods and options available for queer individuals and couples who want to start a family. Providing this information can help to dispel any myths or misunderstandings that others may have.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while it's important to respect other people's opinions, it's also important to set boundaries and stand up for yourself if needed. Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and if someone is making you feel uncomfortable or unwelcome, it's okay to remove yourself from that situation.

Lastly, I would say that patience and time are also key factors in helping others understand and accept queer parenting. Change doesn't happen overnight, and it may take some time before those around you fully come to terms with your family structure. But with patience, understanding, and communication, it is possible to bridge the gap and create more understanding and acceptance.

wohara

Hi there,

I completely understand where you're coming from as I've also been in a similar situation. When my partner and I first started talking to our extended family members about our desire to start a family, we were met with a lot of disbelief and skepticism.

One thing that really helped us was to approach the conversation from a place of openness and vulnerability. We shared our personal stories and struggles about realizing our desire to become parents and explained that it was just as important to us as it would be for any other kind of family.

We also tried to be clear and assertive in our communication about our boundaries and expectations. We explained that we wouldn't tolerate any negativity or judgment about our family structure and that we expected support in our decisions.

Another thing that worked well for us was to offer opportunities for education and understanding. We shared articles, videos, and personal anecdotes to help our family members understand the different paths to parenthood for queer individuals and families.

It was definitely a process, and we had to have many difficult conversations, but ultimately, we were able to help our extended family members understand and accept our family structure. It takes time, patience, and persistence, but it's possible. Good luck!

jerome66

Hey there,

I've found that talking to extended family members about queer parenting can definitely be a challenge. When my partner and I started considering our own family, we were met with mixed reactions from different family members. Here are a few tips that worked well for us in navigating these conversations:

1. Start by having one-on-one conversations. We found that it can be easier to discuss this on a personal level rather than in a group setting where people may feel more inclined to voice judgmental opinions.

2. Be clear and concise about your intentions. Explain your desire to start a family in simple and direct terms to help others understand that the decision is nothing more than a way for you and your partner to express love and commitment.

3. Avoid getting defensive or angry. You may encounter negative reactions or criticism, but it's important to keep calm and collected. Try to listen to their concerns with an open mind and respond thoughtfully, calmly, and rationally.

4. Share positive stories and research with them. Educate them on how queer families can have successful, happy, loving home lives. Provide them with books, articles, videos, or any other resources to help further their understanding of queer parenting.

5. Be patient. Know that it takes time and effort for people to shift their perspective, but with patience and persistence, it can happen. Continue to reach out to them and talk about your family in relatable, loving terms, and they may just come around.

I hope this helps, and I wish you all the best.

dina.abshire

Hi everyone,

I totally understand your concerns about discussing queer parenting with extended family members. As someone who has gone through it, I can say that it can be a challenge, but it's important to remember that you are not alone.

One thing that worked well for my partner and me was to bring up the topic slowly and gradually. Start by mentioning queerness or LGBTQ+ topics and gauge your family members' reactions. If they seem open and understanding, then you can delve deeper into discussing your family plans.

Another useful approach is to start with a more mainstream topic like adoption. This can be less threatening for some people and can help them see that there are many ways to start a family. Once they are more comfortable with the idea of adoption, you can introduce the topic of queer parenting.

It's also important to be prepared for questions and concerns that may arise. Some family members may not understand the logistics of queer parenting or may have questions about how your child will be raised. Be ready to provide clear, concise answers that can help them better understand your situation.

Lastly, it can be helpful to have a support system in place during this time. Whether it be friends or other family members who understand and support you, they can be a valuable source of encouragement and strength.

Remember, you deserve to live and raise a family the way that feels true to you. Don't be afraid to have these conversations and stand up for yourself and your family. With patience, compassion, and understanding, you can help your extended family members understand and accept your family structure.

watson.zieme

Hello everyone,

As a gay person who started a family just a few years ago, I had to face many questions and doubts from my extended family members about my decision to become a parent. Here are a few things that we did that have been successful:

1. Before having a conversation with them, decide on the message that you want to convey. Make sure that each party is clear on your goals and expectations. Respond firmly but respectfully to any negativity or dismissive comments. Be clear when setting boundaries and make it known that you demand respect.

2. We realized that while our extended family is an important part of our lives, it was our choice to move forward with our plans for parenting. We loved them and we wanted them in our lives but we also didn’t want to be weighed down by their negativity or doubt.

3. Educate them on queer parenting - videos, online resources, books, and forums, are great resources to help explain the process of how one becomes a queer parent. This info should provide resources for people who may not be knowledgeable in this area.

4. Providing reassurance for your extended family was essential for us - they had fears, anxieties and worries about the future, as they were not familiar with our situation. By sharing positive stories about LGBTQ+ families and debunking any assumptions that they have, it can help to alleviate their fears.

5. We realized that being patient is the key when it comes to extended family. It may take them a long time to understand and accept your family structure. However, giving them the opportunity to understand and adjust on their own will help them become more accepting.

Remember, your relationship with your extended family is unique and different from others so be yourself and approach these conversations with compassion and empathy.

aveum

Hi everyone,

I have had to navigate similar conversations with my extended family members in the past, and it can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating experience. However, there are a few tips that I found helped me in communicating with them:

1. Start the conversation by asking questions. Ask what their concerns are and what they are specifically worried about. This can help to establish common ground and allow you to address their concerns and fears.

2. Share your personal story with them. This can help your family members to understand your perspective and the reasons behind your decision to become a parent. It can also help to humanize the situation for them.

3. Keep the conversation focused on love and family. It's important to emphasize that your decision to become a parent is based on your love and commitment to each other and to your future child. This can help to shift the focus away from any negative or judgmental attitudes towards a more positive and loving one.

4. Set boundaries. If your family members are not willing to accept your family structure, it's okay to set boundaries and limit your interactions with them. You deserve to be surrounded by people who love and respect you for who you are.

5. Be patient. Change takes time and some family members may need more time than others to come around to the idea of queer parenting. Be patient and continue to communicate with them in a respectful and loving manner.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there are many people out there who have navigated similar situations with their families. Don't be afraid to reach out for support or resources to help you on this journey.

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