EMBRACE • EDUCATE • EMPOWER • LOVE
Heather Hester, Founder of Chrysalis Mama and Creator/Host of Just Breathe: Parenting Your LGBTQ Teen
Unique solutions for all LGBTQIA2+ Individuals, Parents and Families, Organizations, and Global Outreach
Through Coaching, Speaking, Consulting, Education, and Connection
EPISODE 78:WHEN YOUR LGBTQIA+ LOVED ONE FACES NON-AFFIRMING FOLKS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Transforming the Conversation
Hi, my name is Heather Hester. Welcome to Chrysalis Mama.
You have probably landed on this page because your child or a loved one (grandchild? niece? friend?) has recently come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or another sexual orientation or gender identity and you are looking for resources and tools. I know the joys and challenges of parenting an LGBTQ child.
Don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You are in the right place. I’ve been where you are. I’ve felt the shock, the joy, the terror, the growth, the unconditional love, the fierce mama bear response. It’s A LOT! And, it can be challenging to find support, guidance, resources, and education. That’s why I’m here.
Chrysalis Mama is the product of our family’s journey with depression, anxiety, and embracing our son, who, among many wonderful traits, is gay. It is my desire to pass on valuable information and offer support to those who are on a similar journey of loving and raising an LGBTQ+ child.
My mission is to transform the conversation around embracing, education, empowering, and loving LGBTQIA+ adolescents, teenagers, and young adults.
You may be asking – how do we change this conversation? I believe it starts within each one of us, blossoms within our families, and then grows within our communities and beyond. My principles are simple yet effective – To embrace, educate, empower, and love.
I am grateful for this opportunity to connect with parents, allies, advocates, and all who are, among all of their many wonderful traits, LGBTQ!
Nestled in this site you will find:
Covering topics ranging from the LGBTQ+ coming out process to mental health to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in corporate spaces - the Chrysalis Mama blog is a space to learn, grow, and become empowered.
Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Ally: Insights from Jeannie Gainsburg
The fight for LGBTQ+ rights is far from over. While significant progress has been made in recent years, there is still much work to be done in terms of promoting acceptance and inclusion for all members of the LGBTQ+ community. This is where Jeannie Gainsburg comes in. As an award-winning educational trainer and consultant, Jeannie is a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and effective allyship. Here are a few insights from my podcast interview with Jeannie where she discusses the second edition of her book, The Savvy Ally, and offers advice on becoming a skilled advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.
Understanding LGBTQ+ Terminology
One of the most important aspects of being a skilled LGBTQ+ ally is understanding the terminology. Jeannie stresses the importance of using the right language when talking about LGBTQ+ issues. For example, using the correct pronouns when referring to someone can make a huge difference in helping them feel respected and valued. Jeannie also reminds us that the LGBTQ+ community is diverse and intersectional, so it's important not to make assumptions about people's sexual orientation or gender identity.
Building Relationships with the LGBTQ+ Community
Another key aspect of effective allyship is building relationships with members of the LGBTQ+ community. Jeannie recommends seeking out local LGBTQ+ organizations and events and attending them to learn more about the community. It's also important to listen to and learn from LGBTQ+ people and their experiences. By building strong relationships with the LGBTQ+ community, allies can better understand their needs and how to support them.
Taking Action to Support LGBTQ+ Rights
While understanding terminology and building relationships are important, action is ultimately what creates change. Jeannie emphasizes the importance of taking action on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. This can include advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, speaking out against discrimination and prejudice, and supporting LGBTQ+ organizations financially. This is incredibly important right now with dangerous bills being proposed and voted on across the nation, threatening all LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender people.
Jeannie Gainsburg's insights on becoming a skilled LGBTQ+ advocate offer valuable advice for parents and teenagers looking to support the LGBTQ+ community. From understanding terminology to taking action and building relationships, effective allyship requires ongoing effort and dedication. By following Jeannie's advice and committing to long-term allyship, we can all help create a more inclusive and accepting world for the LGBTQ+ community. Listen to the complete interview here: https://chrysalismama.com/podcast.
Heather was a passionate and informed speaker on the topic of LGBTQ2S parenting. Heather shares her personal and professional experience through family storytelling and is able to connect to the audience in this candid way. Heather provided thoughtful and supportive feedback to parents’ questions and employees shared positive feedback after her informative session.
~Kallie Jackson, CN PRIDE ERG Co-Chair
Canadian National Railways
I am very happy to know that Heather is available to serve as a resource for parents of LGBTQ+ kids, and really to any parents at all. Everyone talks about being "inclusive", but Heather lives it. Heather is able to accept whatever comes her way and use the power of unconditional love and kindness to turn challenges into gifts. We can all learn a lot from Heather.
~Adam Simon, Executive Director
Odyssey Teen Camp
Heather was the calming voice in a world that was otherwise in upheaval. Heather was there to pick me up (although she didn't know it) and she was the best friend in my head helping me process and get through some difficult stuff. I loved that she gave ME permission to process and mourn my story now that it was being rewritten...Heather gave me the time I needed to get to the next step. Heather didn't judge me. I would download a podcast every morning and listen to ther during my walk. Her voice fixed it for me. Her voice soothed my heartache. Her voice helped me get to the next step of processing and her voice helped me move on. Heather helped me have difficult conversations that were based in kindness. She helped me to breathe. And I love her for that.
~Anonymous and thankful
I was searching for resources to be the best supportive mom I could be to my pre-teen (now teen) and found this amazing podcast! It was just what I needed! I knew I needed some guidance from a parent who had experience through a similar journey and Heather was there with perfect content and even talked with me personally through email. The community Heather has built through this podcast and Facebook page has given me the confidence to not be fearful through this journey but rather to embrace it and encourage my teen to be their authentic self!
~ Lauren Bo21
Heather is real, relatable, thoughtful, educated, and inclusive of every teen parent scenario in her talks. I love being able to hear first hand from someone who has gone through the “Valley of Darkness” and come out the other side a better person, informed, and able to help others right where they are.
Your centered, calming voice and demeanor help me to feel more peaceful. I experience you as therapeutic & your journey gives me more hope that we can love [our son] well. Thank you for giving your life away to me through sharing your story and the guests you interview.
I love your raw, real vulnerability. I am brand new on this journey and stumbled accidentally across your podcast on a road trip. I listened for 8 hours of driving and didn’t want to get to my destination because I wanted more. Using your own journey to help and support other parents is so brave and I am grateful to you and your family. Connor is so fortunate to have you ❤️
© 2023 Chrysalis Mama • All Rights Reserved