In the spirit of “family” theme of the last International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (May 17) and the Global Day of Parents (June 1), we are releasing a new video celebrating parents who love and accept their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children.
Produced with the support of Save the Children through the Multi-Country South Asia Global Fund HIV Programme (MSA), the video presents the story of a young woman exploring her sexuality and gender identity and how her initially anxious parents respond to the situation.
Titled Acceptance Starts At Home, the purpose of the video is to encourage parents of LGBT children to educate themselves about the journey of discovery that their child is undertaking and to highlight the benefits of supporting them through that process with unconditional love and acceptance.
Established by the United Nations in 2012, the Global Day of Parents honours mothers and fathers for the sacrifices they make to support and nurture their children.
APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana believed that the the occasion provides an ideal opportunity to appreciate parents who unconditionally support and love their LGBT children. “Discovering that your sexuality or gender identity doesn’t fit the norm is a challenging time for many young LGBT people, but it’s also important to acknowledge that it can be a challenging time for their parents as well,” Mr Poonkasetwattana said. “Sadly many parents choose to respond in ways that can be hurtful and damaging to their child’s physical and mental wellbeing. The video we have produced seeks to show that providing love, support and acceptance for a child through all stages of their life ultimately brings happiness to both parent and child.”
I love her and I embrace the fact that we are a rainbow family. I dream of a day when young people don’t have to come out because they’ve never had to hide who they are in the first place.
“My daughter came out when she was 14. I love her and I embrace the fact that we are a rainbow family. I dream of a day when young people don’t have to come out because they’ve never had to hide who they are in the first place,” Canadian Ambassador to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand, H.E. Ms. Donica Pottie spoke to APCOM on being a loving mother to her lesbian daughter.
APCOM hopes that the video can change the hearts of parents of LGBT children who are still struggling with the issue. Having the love and support of parents makes a huge difference to the health of young LGBT people, many of whom also struggle with being bullied by their peers and stigmatised by society.
Every child deserves love, support and care from their family.
“Every child deserves love, support and care from their family. No matter our differences or unique characteristics, family love should be unconditional and a constant for each and every one of us,” told Portuguese Ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Mr. Francisco Vaz Patto, who himself is a gay son to his parents, when asked by APCOM on the significance of family support to LGBT children.
In Thailand, according to a study commissioned by UNESCO Bangkok and Plan International Thailand, more than half of self-identified LGBT students in the study reported having been bullied within the past month because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Another study commissioned by the World Bank Group and Thammasat University concludes that almost half of all surveyed Thai LGBT people report not being successful in job applications because of their LGBTI identity.
All of these findings were presented at Thailand’s recent International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia in Thailand on May 17, which was co-organised by The Thai Ministry of Justice, the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, World Bank, UNESCO, the Embassy of Canada and more than 30 community and development partners, including APCOM.
For a week starting today (June 1), APCOM will also roll out #LoveStartsAtHome campaign on its Facebook page. The campaign will feature posters showcasing parents of LGBT children across Asia-Pacific region and their story on showing or finding unconditional love towards their LGBT children.