Ann’s 8-year-old daughter has identified as gay since she was 4. Ann has had trouble finding a community of other gay children in Portland whom her daughter can relate to, she says. She wrote a post on the local blog Urban Mamas to see if others have had the same experience. And it turns out that she’s not alone.
Resources for gay kids younger than 12 are sorely lacking in Oregon and around the country, says Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University. As more states legalize gay marriage and society becomes more accepting of the LGBT community, Ryan says, it’s more likely that gay children will feel comfortable coming out at younger ages. But a lack of awareness of gay children’s needs is keeping kids and their families from getting the support they need, she says.
- Ann: Social media manager and writer for Urban Mamas, mother of 8-year-old gay daughter
- Caitlin Ryan: Director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University