February is Relationship Wellness Month
There is perhaps no relationship as crucial as the one between parents and children. And because February is Relationship Wellness Month, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX, www.pfox.org) is focusing now more than ever on helping parents and their children to navigate some of toughest and most complex issues in life.
“The hardest words a parent may hear are, ‘I’m gay’ or ‘I’m transgender,’” said PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs. “Personally, I know exactly how they feel, and so do the parents we help through PFOX resources and support. It’s so important that parents know that there are others out there just like them, wondering where to turn next, afraid of what may become of the relationship with their children. As loving parents, we respect our children’s rights to seek help in overcoming their unwanted same-sex attractions, but often parents need help, too. That’s where PFOX comes in.”
PFOX, the nation’s leading advocacy organization that offers love and support to families and friends of individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion, highlights the stories of those who are either ex-gay or have been affected by transgender, homosexual and other sexual identity issues in their family on its web site at www.pfox.org/personal-stories and www.pfox.org/safe-exit, including the very personal story of Steve and Janice Graham.
As a boy in elementary school, the Graham’s son began to be perceived by his male friends as different, simply because of his personality. His friends began pulling away, calling him names and making fun of him—what Janice called “peer abuse” and “peer rejection.”
“As our son got older and went into junior high school,” Steve said in the couple’s PFOX video, “they started physically abusing him.” Added Janice, “It was hurtful to see our son being rejected by members of his own gender. We didn’t know what to do about it.” And the two parents “had no resources and no experience,” Steve said.
“You’re stamped with this label at an extremely young age when you haven’t even begun your sexual development,” Janice said. “He was stuck—and I fear a lot of young people today are stuck—in that no man’s land, where they have no choice but to start to wonder about their sexuality, just because of their interests and their hobbies and their talents.” Continued Steve, “And the way the world has said, ‘if you have these interests and these talents, then obviously it means you’re gay.’”
“We wouldn’t have chosen this for our son or for our family,” Steve said, “but having been given it, we’re grateful for what we’ve learned from it and how it enables us to move forward in the world the way it is today.”
Some of those featured in PFOX videos now serve as guest speakers at churches for the Safe Exit program. For details on the program, including how to invite a guest speaker to a church or how to obtain family help, visit www.pfox.org/safe-exit.
To interview Regina Griggs or Steve and Janice Graham, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak, 610-584-1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization with a mission to support families and educate the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX is committed to supporting parents and friends of homosexuals who want help, hope and community, and exists to provide education and resources. Regina Griggs has helped thousands of parents of gays and ex-gays connect through support groups and has worked with various gay media outlets to promote respect and understanding for the ex-gay community. She has also spearheaded various advocacy and educational campaigns positively impacting the ex-gay community, and she has been interviewed by numerous television, radio and print outlets.
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