Foreword Reviews

Raising LGBTQ Allies

A Parent's Guide to Changing the Messages from the Playground

When it comes to raising queer kids, families need true acceptance to thrive, but getting there can be a challenge. Raising LGBTQ Allies helps schools, mental health professionals, religious leaders, and families understand and create new LGBTQ+-friendly spaces in a heteronormative culture.

Parents and family members of LGBTQ+ youth who are not members of the queer community themselves may struggle to understand what real allyship looks like. This book points out that “the microaggressions LGBTQ youth face on a daily basis, including homophobic bullying, heteronormativity, and not being accepted by family or peers, is itself trauma.” Identifying, healing, preventing, and mitigating that trauma are key elements of raising happy, healthy people.

This important guide empowers allies to take steps to engage with homophobic and transphobic beliefs in culture and themselves. Its exercises for meditation and visualization are designed to instill empathy. The book is also packed with scientific research about the outcomes of bigotry, from conversion therapy to bullying. It shows what happens when those negative forces are removed.

The book emphasizes that homophobic violence isn’t limited to playground fights or name-calling. It is insidious, pervasive, and difficult to call out, especially when someone has never experienced it. This guide gives allies a lens to really see what LGBTQ+ kids experience, and a language to move from “acceptance” to true affirmation. It includes candid discussions of the consequences of staying quiet or looking the other way, such as the prevalence of substance abuse in the LGBTQ+ community, its drinking and drug culture, and intergenerational, unhealed shame and trauma. These topics are expressed in informed but authentic language that always centers the needs of the child.

Raising LGBTQ Allies is a courageous, necessary, big-hearted book with a vision for a more loving future for kids who inhabit every part of the identity rainbow.

Reviewed by Claire Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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