Parents learning to support their LGBT children for Blogging for #LGBTQFamilies Day

To me, family is everything. I’ve been able to do so much in life thanks to family support. My parents made me feel I could try anything because, no matter what happened, they would be right there, with a Sunday asadito (bbq) and a hug.

It wasn’t always that way. As a teen starting to suspect my orientation was not heterosexual, I felt very alone, and afraid that I’d lose my family if they found out I was a lesbian.

I didn’t lose them, thank heavens. My parents and siblings were supportive—although Mom and Dad struggled a bit at first trying to envision the future I would have.

It’s been a great life, of love and friendship, traveling and career highs—and family support made it possible. So, whenever I can, as part of my job at GLAAD and outside of it, I work to help other Latino parents give their gay bisexual and transgender kids the incredibly important gift of acceptance.

As part of that goal, GLAAD premiered two videos in Spanish called "If you could see what I feel." Created by GLAAD's Spanish-Language and Latino Media intern Orlando Bedolla, the idea was to actually show outwardly, in the form of bruises and lacerations, the pain that parents can cause with words.

In one video, a young man and his dad watch a soccer game, in which the dad, yelling at the team on TV, uses anti-LGBT epithets. In the other, the mom, watching a segment on a pride parade, laughs derisively at the people she sees, not knowing how much this hurts her daughter.

Two of the actors have, sadly, had personal experience around rejection. Guiliani Viana, who plays the son in the father/son PSA, faced so much anti-gay hate from his father that he recently changed his last name, no longer wanting to carry the name of a person who did not respect him.

Mariana Marroquin, who plays the mom in the mother/daughter PSA also has faced anti-LGBT attitudes. As a transgender woman, an advocate and an actress, Mariana has spoken about personal instances of rejection and discrimination in order to make it clear to audiences that transphobia can have a high and violent cost. Fortunately, Mariana’s family has been supportive. In fact, her sister volunteered to appear in the video and plays her daughter. And Mariana’s mom was at the video shoot, cheering on both daughters.

We know it can take time to understand how to be a supportive parent. It took many of us who are LGBT years to love and accept ourselves. But it's critically important that families do the best they can to accept their LGBT kids. To assist in that process, GLAAD created a resource page in Spanish with links to supportive organizations and articles for families.

Young people who have family support do so much better in life. Their health, education, their outlook on life—all is improved many times over by feeling their family accepts them.

Please check out and PSAs and share them and the resource page.