Stand up for your LGBTQ+ family members

A memory sticks hard in my mind: I was with a family member, who knows I am a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and she didn’t stand up for me. While this was over 10 years ago, it still hurts.

I was visiting this family member overnight and we encountered a large snow storm overnight. Some members of her church came up the next morning to shovel her car out. They came into the living room to warm up and chat a bit. Somehow the conversation turned to LGBTQ+ people.

Photo by 42 North on

“I just don’t want my kids around that,” the woman from the church said.

I looked over at my mom, hoping she’d stand up for me. She gave me this pleading look that sent the message “please don’t say anything.”

I didn’t. I wasn’t as strong as I am now. My journey with who I am has been a long one.

In my view now, I probably would have said something. But, also they do not deserve that part of me either.

But back to my original point. This family member, who should have stood up for me, just sat there. Which was all the information I needed regarding how she really felt about who I am. True, she may have been afraid to stand up to her religious leaders. But here’s the deal. This right here is why it’s so critical to stand up for your family members.

Because how you act in public, around your circle, sends a message about how you feel about your loved one. Don’t underestimate this.

If you can’t support or stand up for us, then be prepared for us to distance ourselves or back out of your life.

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