Caring for gay kids
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I appreciated LDS Apostle Dallin Oaks calling our attention at General Conference to the need to better care for our children ("Mormon leader decries divorce, abortion, same-sex parents," Tribune, Oct. 6). There is one aspect of this theme that we all could be more aware of — the need to better care for our children who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

According to the impeccable research done by Dr. Caitlin Ryan of San Francisco State University in her landmark Family Acceptance Project (http://familyproject.sfsu.edu), LGBT young people whose parents reject them are: eight times as likely to attempt suicide, six times as likely to report high levels of depression, three times as likely to use illegal drugs and three times as likely to be at high risk for HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases.

LGBT children whose parents support them show much higher rates of self-esteem and greater well-being.

An LDS-oriented version of the Family Acceptance Project booklet, co-authored by former LDS bishop Robert Rees, suggests ways families can ensure a safer life for their LGBT children.

Carol Lynn Pearson

Walnut Creek