LGBTQ+

Everyone is different. We are here to

help you express that individuality.

What can we help with?

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Image by Hayden Scott

So you're thinking about coming out?

Don't know where to start? Let's look at the basics!

Why do people choose to come out?

  • They are tired of hiding their identities

  • They want those who know them to get to know them as their full and genuine selves.

  • To decrease feelings of isolation

  • To show support for others

  • To raise awareness

  • And many, many more

Choose and good time and place!
DO:

  • Make sure there is enough time to talk

  • Make sure you are in a good mental state and have support lined up if things do not go as planned.

  • Prepare for the conversation

DON’T:

  • Come out during a fight

  • Come out in the car/anywhere you can’t get away

  • Come out around a holiday, including your birthday

  • Come out around a death or sick relative

Preparing for and having the conversation:

  • Tell the person WHY you are having this conversation (“I have something I want to tell you.  I am telling you because I love you and I want you to know what is going on in my life.”)

  • Let them know how you are feeling (“I am really nervous right now.”)

  • Make requests for how you want to conversation to go (“Please wait until I am done telling you until you respond.”)

  • Create the space for honesty (“I want you to be honest with m e about how you feel.  I know this might not be easy for you.”)

  • Tell them and be ready for their reaction either positive or negative.

  • Listen to their response.

  • Give them the time they need to process.

Now lets focus on Parents:

 

Possible parent reactions:

  • Happiness that their child is being open and honest with them and trusts them.

  • Fear for their child.

  • Concern that their child is going through a phase, or cannot know such an important thing at such a young age.

  • Mourning for the future that they hoped their child would have (marriage, children, etc.).

  • Anger that their child’s identity does not align with their beliefs.

  • Fear that they have done something wrong to make their child this way, or that others will believe they did.

  • Fear that their community will reject them.

  • Belief that their kid is trying to hurt them by telling them this, or identifying as part of the LGBTQ community.

 

Some things to think about:

  • Some parents may immediately affirm and support their kids when they come out.

  • Some may need some time to adjust their expectations and process the information.

  • Some parents may initially respond badly before being ready to accept their child.

  • The acceptance process may take years.

  • Some parents may never be accepting and may merely settle and tolerance or may continue to react badly.

  • Some parents may surprise you in their willingness to accept you.

 

 Lastly:

  • Your parent’s reaction is not a reflection of your worth, or the validity of your identity.

  • You deserve to give yourself the same acceptance and support you hope for from your parents.

Image by Steve Johnson
 
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Our program is partnered with National LGBTQ+ Organizations which provide trainings, conferences, and internships for youth throughout the year.

Affect change within GSAs

YST works with Camp Fire Green Country in schools throughout the Tulsa area to provide support, youth leadership training, and community networking opportunities. 

Connect LGBTQ+ Youth to the broader community
YST hosts multiple events throughout the year including Pride Prom, Weekly Coffee House, Youth Pride float, Weekly Support/Social Justice group, and much more.

Build youth capacity as leaders in their schools and communities
YST has created programs that are youth-driven to provide them leadership opportunities within their own communities such as Lobby Day and GSA Leadership Summit.

Capacity Building to improve LGBTQ+ youth outcomes

We provide Professional Development trainings that cater specifically to the needs of each organization receiving the training. We provide trainings and presentations to clinics, counselors, schools, churches, and many other organizations.

YST is proud to partner with Camp Fire Green Country (www.tulsacampfire.org) and GSANetwork (www.gsanetwork.org)

 
Image by Steve Johnson

311 S Madison Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120 | ​Tel: 918.582.0061​ | youthservices@yst.org

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