Family, societal acceptance important

As a group of family and friends of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) children, siblings, cousins and parents, we are heartened by the professional Opinion piece by Professor Chong Siow Ann ("Coming out: How parents react is crucial"; Nov 21).

Our personal experiences in supporting, affirming and empowering our LGBTQ family members and friends confirm Professor Chong's conclusion that family and societal acceptance of LGBTQ youth is very important to their happiness and well-being.

In addition, of course, there are numerous professional studies with critical new research to show that families have a major impact on their LGBTQ children's health, mental health and well-being.

The Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University in the United States has highlighted that sharing the results of its studies among ethnically, religiously and socially diverse families, parents and caregivers can give LGBTQ youth hope that they can be whoever they want to be, as long as they can count on support at home even if they face misunderstanding in the wider society.

It is our hope, too, that Professor Chong's compassionate and well-researched piece will contribute to Singaporeans becoming more accepting and loving towards all their LGBTQ family members.

Khoo Hoon Eng (Dr)
Co-founder
Safe Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2015, with the headline 'Family, societal acceptance important'. Print Edition | Subscribe