With funding from the Parenting Support Grant (Community Foundation for Calderdale), GALYIC launched the Parents Project, the aim of which was that parents of LGBT young people would have a better understanding of their children's needs and therefore be better able to meet those needs.
In order to fulfil this aim, a training module was developed targeting parents of LGBT young people and relevant professionals. The objectives of the course were that participants would have a better understanding of homophobia, what it means, where it comes from and how it affects society, their children and themselves so that they would be better able to support their children. The course was completed during June and July, 2009.
During the annual residential of 2009 members drew up a list of what they would like to be able to say to their parents:
Don't hide away from the truth.
Be open-minded and go outside the 'normal'.
Be realistic, don't believe everything you see or hear.
Celebrate difference, don't hide it.
Try to understand us and what we are going through: really talk to us, really try to understand us.
Let us express ourselves, be who we really are.
Learn to talk about it openly and in an appropriately positive way.
Don't pressure us to be what you want us to be.
Help with bullying and homophobia - make a stand and "stand by us; think what is best for us (not what is best for you)".
Don't allow religion to get in the way, support us to discover our own culture and weave it into 'normal' culture; help us find our identity.
Respond positively: "Wow" that's really important, thanks for telling me, is there anything I can help you with?
Don't blame yourselves or my friends for whom I am - it's natural!
We need to know you still love us, we are still the same person, we can still have offspring - if we want to.
It's important that we are in control of coming out - don't come out for us (unless we ask you to).
The mother of one of GALYIC's members wrote about her response to learning that her son is gay and with her permission this was added it to the website so that others can share her experience. Click here to read it.