The Parents Project

Becca Damante ’17
Layout Staff

Kristin and Danielle were always there for me. When I was scared to come out to my family, I consulted for advice. They made coming out and being who I am a battle worth fighting for. With their hilarious webcasts filled with lip-syncing, cat jokes, and even some serious advice, coming out became something that I could finally conquer. But there was something missing from their website. And until the two recently unveiled their plan for The Parents Project, I didn’t realize that’s what it was.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Everyone is Gay, the organization was founded in 2010 by Kristin Russo and Danielle Owens-Reid as an advice website for LGBTQ youth. The website is home to a number of different resources, which include advice columns, FAQ’s, and webcasts. Kristin and Danielle combine their sense of humor, experience living as queer individuals, and vigorous passion in order to support the LGBTQ community. Now, the two have expanded their mission to include reaching the parents of the LGBTQ youth with the creation of The Parents Project.

The Parents Project was born out of the experience Kristin and Danielle have had talking to LGBTQ youth across the country. The two explain, “Thousands of young people have shared their stories with us over the years –most of which include parents who don’t believe them, who wonder what this means for their future, who are concerned about religious beliefs, or who just don’t know WHAT to say.” After thinking about this, they realized that there was not a resource out there for parents of LGBTQ youth, and thus the idea for The Parents Project was brought to life.

With the number of states that have passed gay marriage in the last ten years and the influx of queer characters featured on television, many people believe that society is becoming more accepting of LGBTQ individuals. Although this is a step in the right direction, that doesn’t make the process of coming out any easier. No matter how accepting society becomes, coming out will always be a difficult process, not only for members of LGBTQ community, but also for parents.

Although I personally didn’t have a problem coming out to my parents, I know a lot of friends that did. One particular circumstance comes to mind. One of my friends finally gained the courage to tell her mom that she liked girls, and one of the first things her mom considered was how my friend would not be able to have children, which is a completely incorrect assumption. She proceeded to explain to her daughter how much harder her life would be as a queer individual rather than support her for coming out and acknowledge her bravery. My friend was completely devastated, and since then has not brought up the subject with her mom. That is why a resource like The Parents Project is such a necessity! There are so many people out there with situations similar to this one, and this website would be the perfect solution.

There aren’t many other resources that exist like The Parents Project. Although PFLAG is devoted to similar goals, the great thing about The Parents Project is its accessibility and its interactive nature. If parents have concerns, they can submit them to the website or look back through an archive of already answered questions.

Where PFLAG creates chapters within local communities, The Parents Project creates a digital community that spans across the United States and potentially the world. Parents will have the opportunity to interact with other families and find solace in the similar concerns that exist among parents of LGBTQ youth across the globe.

As of 9:54 pm on Monday, November 18, Kristin and Danielle surpassed their month-long goal of raising $50,000 to fund The Parents Project with a grand total of $53,155 raised!  I am extremely excited to see what they have in store for us.

I salute them for making what is already a fantastic website an even more valuable resource for the LGBTQ community.


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