June is LGBTQ Pride Month! BBBSTB is proud to be an inclusive and diverse organization supporting the LGBTQ community. If your Little comes out to you during your match, it’s very important to support and care for them through their journey. First, learn what coming out means. “Coming Out” is a commonly used phrase we hear when describing an individual’s LGBTQ journey. “Coming Out” refers to the process an LGBTQ person goes through as they work to understand and accept their sexual orientation or gender identity — and share that identity openly with other people. Someone who is coming out might not ever come out to certain family members or individuals, and it’s critical to always respect this choice.
Below are some helpful tips on how you can respond as a good Ally:
Acknowledge your own feelings (internally!)
Thank them for disclosing to you.
Reinforce that you are trustworthy (acknowledge the risk they are taking by confiding in you.)
Tell them that you care about them.
Ask what you can do to support them.
Ask who else knows.
Keep it private and confidential.
If you are unsure of how to respond, simply say, “Thank you for sharing this with me. This is new to me but I care about you and I will continue to be here for you.”
You don’t have to have all the answers if your Little discloses being LGBTQ, just make sure they walk away feeling like they made the right decision by coming out to you. Click here for some important information and resources for LGBTQ+ Youth and Friends/Supporters.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay supports diversity. We support the LGBTQ community and encourage volunteers from all walks of life to apply as a mentor for youth in our community. Do you want to learn how to become a Big? Attend our Big Orientation & Training info session. View the schedule.