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Gary Direnfeld

PRIDE Month and Co-Parenting

It’s Pride Month – and you may have different values….

Some folks even wonder about the need for Pride Month – the acknowledgement and celebration of LGBTQ2.

The celebrations signify that after years and years of having to hide, being made to feel bad for one’s sexual orientation, discrimination based on sexual orientation, let alone gender, people can (hopefully) finally be who they really are – their authentic self. That is celebratory.

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So the month acknowledges past and still present discrimination and the now freedoms and equality as well as contributions of the LGBTQ2 community. It is celebratory because of the fact people now have a safe space and need to continue to build that space to be who they are.

However, not all folks are accepting of the diverse LGTBQ2 community. This becomes a larger issue for a child between separated parents who hold divergent views and the differences may be made bigger if a parent, family member or friend is a member of the LGBTQ2 community.

For some, there can be no easy way to navigate those differences. If the differences are insurmountable, that is where parallel parenting comes to mind. Each parent will live their life and expose the children to views consistent with their own, but hopefully delicately without demeaning or indeed destroying the views of the other.

If we cannot have acceptance, then tolerance will be the next best thing.

From the child’s point of view, they are learning about the world and how to navigate it through the experience of seeing their parents. We are forever teaching.

If we can at least agree that all persons are deserving of love and respect, then let that be the common ground to ease any tensions that may arise for differences in attitudes towards Pride.

At the very least most parents would seek for their children to be respectful of others regardless of differences.

And just to state what I think may be the obvious, one day it may be your child looking to fit in and find an accepting community as a member of this community and as your child.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW is a Canadian Social Worker in private practice. He is recognized from his 65 episodes of the hit show Newlywed/Nearly Dead, to over 650 columns as the parenting expert of a major metropolitan newspaper, to more than 350 media appearances, to his book, Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout Canada and the US and helps family peacemakers grow their practice.

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