PFOX Gives Help to Families at the Holidays
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays Extends Resources and Offers Hope for Families Struggling with Choices of Children
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak, 610.584.1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com
RICHMOND, Va.—The holidays can be a difficult time for families, especially if sons or daughters declare that they are homosexual or transgendered. As a result, stress, sadness or even anger may surface at Christmas dinners and New Year’s celebrations.
Many parents might resolve in 2016 to no longer argue over their child’s sexuality—or they may even think the relationship is broken beyond repair.
Regina Griggs knows the struggles of these parents. She is one.
For years, Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX, www.pfox.org), 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, has helped parents navigate some of these complicated challenges. In fact, in 2015 alone, PFOX worked with more than 80 families.
“When our children, whether in adolescence or adulthood, struggle with homosexuality or gender issues, it is shocking, and parents have to deal with how to set aside feelings and remember that their child has disclosed a struggle that they have dealt with for some time before disclosing it,” Griggs said. “Parents need to ask their child for time to think through their feelings, just as they did, and then set aside a time after the holidays when the family can discuss how to keep the family together and respect and allow for differences of opinion. Many parents don’t know where to turn. They wonder if their relationships with their kids will be the same—and what the future holds. But rather than hide or retreat, parents must know that there is help available, and that change is possible. At PFOX, we help parents see that they are not alone on this journey.
“The holidays are also a time when homosexual children may want to bring home a partner, and many choose the holidays as a time to come out, knowing that their families may postpone a conversation to keep peace,” Griggs added. “Parents should be prepared to set boundaries—the same as they do for single, heterosexual children. Plan events that your child enjoyed when growing up, involve your child in activities, and agree to discuss your feelings about their declaration after you’ve had time to think things through.”
Ex-gay evangelist Jason Maxwell is a new guest speaker for PFOX’s Safe Exit program, which offers resources that help churches open their doors to those struggling with same-sex attractions and gender identity confusion, as well as to families whose lives have been affected by a homosexual loved one.
Just a few short years ago, Maxwell thought he had everything. A successful career, a huge house, his dream car and a partner he loved. For 15 years, he had lived a homosexual lifestyle—and had even justified in his heart that God said it was OK. But then, at a church service, God spoke to his spirit and he repented, left his partner, closed his business and moved to another state “to discover who Christ said I was.”
PFOX 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. Some of those featured in the videos now serve as guest speakers at churches for the Safe Exit program and help families as well. 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.
PFOX is a national non-profit organization that supports families and educates the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX supports an inclusive environment for the ex-gay community and works to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals by conducting public education and outreach to further individual self-determination and respect for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.
PFOX believes that every person seeking positive life change needs the love and support of family, friends, the community and the church, and strives to offer a place for help, a place for truth, and a place for ex-gays to participate in the conversation about same-sex attraction. PFOX families love their homosexual children unconditionally, believing that unconditional love between them and their child is based on treating each other with kindness and respect. Each year, men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to seek help in overcoming a homosexual identity through gender-affirming programs, including counseling, support groups, faith-based ministries and other non-judgmental environments.
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. PFOX works toward understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community.
To interview a representative from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak at 610-584-1096, ext. 100, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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