Kirk Cameron on CNN's Piers Morgan's show discussing his beliefs that homosexuality is "unnatural" "detrimental" and "ultimately destructive" is just that, ultimately destructive to our GLBT youth. This rejection by the parents and other adult caregivers of our children has a similar effect on a child as the bullying in school that these same kids suffer at the hands of other youth.
Children and adolescents who are bullied suffer greater incident of depression, substance abuse, suicide attempts, homelessness, stress related illness and increased likelihood of entering into abusive relationships. These youth, bullied at school, do not need to go home to a rejecting and bullying household. What Is Behind Kirk Cameron's Antigay Remarks?
Most homeless teenagers are homeless because they spoke up about their sexual orientation. I went to graduate school in San Francisco. As a school project I chose to meet with a few of the homeless teenagers who live in encampments in Golden Gate Park. It was an interesting yet sad experience. Almost all of those kids identify as LGBT and they reported leaving homes where they were not allowed to be themselves.
In some cases they were thrown out, but more often they left due to the emotional pain of being rejected by their parents. Some of them were physically abused. These street teens are at high risk of becoming prostitutes, drug addiction, violence and other crimes. While I was having breakfast with these kids one of them shot up with heroin in the restaurant and nodded off at the table. Gay Relationship Compatibility—Am I Attracted To You?
How parents do relationship is how children learn to do relationship. Very early in their lives children start learning relationship from their parents. When I'm coaching couples on improving their relationship I often tell them that the way they do relationship is the first lesson their children get in how to do relationship. If you demean your partner, dismiss their most authentic self-expression, and fight with each other, then children learn that is what relationship is. This lesson gets doubly reinforced by the way the parents relate to the child.
How parents relate to a child furthers the child's relationship education. For a boy born with a gay orientation, his first and most important male relationship is with his father. It is the model for all of his future male relationships. If he is shamed by his father for talking about his self-exploration of his sexuality, this is the child's next lesson in the nature of intimate relationship. "We Have No Chemistry": What Does He Mean?
If he doesn't get authentic validation from his father growing up, as an adolescent and young adult he'll try to deaden the pain of his shame through his relationships with other men, drugs, alcohol or other self-destructive behavior.