Unconditional: A Guide to Loving and Supporting Your LGBTQ Child provides parents of a LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning) child with a framework for helping their LGBTQ child navigate through a world that isn’t always welcoming. Author Telaina Eriksen, a professor at Michigan State University and the mother of a gay daughter, explains what she and her husband have learned through experience, including how to:
- Deal with gay children coming out
- Confront bullying of gay children
- Become an advocate for gay children
- Build a support system in a gay family
Gender and sexuality: Eriksen also covers the science on gender and sexuality and how to help a transgender child through the various stages of development. Throughout the book parents and kids who have been there, share their stories. She also directs gay family parents to various resources online to help them.
LGBTQ parents will learn…
- How to help their child navigate locker rooms, sleepovers, proms, etc.
- When to involve the police or school administration when it comes to bullying
- How to advocate for local, state and national policies that protect your child
- Ways to educate well-meaning, but misguided extended family members
- How to help start a Gay-Straight Alliance at your child’s school
- Strategies for keeping your child talking after he or she comes out
- Signs of unhealthy relationships
- When to consider therapy for your child and/or your family
- How to find an LGBTQ-friendly community (including inclusive churches)
Telaina Morse Eriksen was born in rural Michigan, the youngest of seven children in a working class family. She received a B.A. in journalism with concentrations in history, English, and political science from Michigan State University in 1990. She worked for many years in the educational software industry writing technical manuals, and doing marketing and public relations. She returned to school at age 39 to study for her MFA in creative writing, concentrating in both creative nonfiction and poetry. She graduated from Antioch University Los Angeles in December 2009. She has taught creative writing for the Department of English at Michigan State University for the last five years. Her work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in By One’s Own Hand: Writing About Suicide Loss (an anthology) Mother is a Verb (poetry anthology), Under the Sun, The Fem, The Good Men Project, Role Reboot, The Manifest-Station, ARS Medica, Hospital Drive, Marco Polo Quarterly, The Truth About the Fact, poemmemoirstory and in many other online and print publications. Her essays have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2010 and 2011. She lives in East Lansing, Michigan with her husband of 24 years, her 16-year-old son, and her two dogs, Sprite and Clement. (Her 20-year-old daughter drops in from college for free wi-fi and laundry once or twice a month as well.)
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