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  • Dr. Kate Henry

How We Can Support LGBTQIA+ Youth

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

A recent study conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA estimated that roughly 10% of young people identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, and nearly 1% identify as trans. These numbers are almost certainly underestimates. If you're a caring adult, you're take these numbers seriously and wondering how you can create a safe, inclusive and healthy environment for the young people in your life who may fall into these categories.

We talk a lot about sexual health, consent, gender, boundaries, self-love and body image in my clinic, and I'm honored that Coach Sommer Mahoney joined us today for a critical conversation about how to upskill so that we can support LGBTQIA+ youth as they navigate childhood, puberty, relationships, love, sex and more.

Coach Mahoney is uniquely equipped to educate us about this topic for a number of reasons. As a History and Global Studies teacher, Head Varsity Soccer Coach, Gay Straight Alliance advisor, dorm parent and Masters in Cultural Studies from Dartmouth (expected August 2022), Sommer has a unique persepective on our culture's approach to gender, sexuality and young people that few of us have. She's also dedicated to teaching other adults how to get it right when it comes to their kids. I am super grateful for the time she spent with us and know you'll love this talk.

Important timestamps so you can get right to the business of learning:

1:00 What does LGBTQIA+ mean?

3:30 What do LGBTQIA+ youth need from their parents?

5:30 How can parents help kids think critically about societal expectations regarding gender and sexuality?

11:30 How to we help kids navigate the TIA part of LGBTQIA+?

17:00 How likely are kids to talk with their parents about identifying as LGBTQIA+?

21:00 How do we navigate sleepovers as parents who want to create an inclusive and safe environment for LGBTQIA+ youth?

23:30 Safe sex for LGBTQIA+ youth .

30:00 How to support LGBTQIA+ youth in the day to day.

Let us know if there are more helpful resources you think parents should know about!

Some key points I really took away from this

  1. Don't assume your kids are straight.

  2. Don't assume your kid knows you won't be disappointed if they're not straight because this can keep them from coming out to you and discussing difficult topics with you.

  3. Try to be gender neutral when you talk about your kids' clothing choices, crushes, etc.

  4. Adopt gender neutral rules about sleepovers, etc. early on.

  5. Make sure your child is educated about safe sex with partners of all sexes and genders regardless of their presentation.

Follow Coach Mahoney for more awesome content and links to the resources she discussed at

If you want to set up an appointment with Dr. Kate, start by scheduling a Discovery Call today.


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