Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day Weekend is Here

This weekend is Father's Day and even though my own father has been dead for more than 20 years, I have to post and honor the day because all of us have fathers. Now ... some of my readers have or had fabulous fathers. You know the kind - supportive, helping you explore the variety of life choices ahead of his kids, creating a safe and loving place to return to each day after school, and being generous with his sense of humor and support of his kids. That's the kind of father we all wish we had and some of us were actually lucky enough to have a father like this.

Happy Father's Day to all of you. 

But there are other kinds of fathers out there that don't quite fit into this definition. These are the fathers who might almost be better called 'sperm donors' instead of fathers. These are the fathers who are violent towards their families, who drink away their paychecks or spend them on drugs, who don't attend the performances or sporting events of their kids, and who only move through their lives from one day to another, dragging down everyone they touch along with them.

What kind of father did you have? I was very fortunate. I had a father who met the first description. My friends and other family members also had fathers who mostly fit the first description. But many kids out there don't have that good fortune.

To find a large list of organizations helping homeless
LGBT kids, just follow this link

It is a fact that 65% of the kids living on the streets these days are LGBT kids who have been kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation. Sixty-five percent! That's a HUGE number of kids who thought they had a safe place to return to after school and who found the doors locked against them or their very lives threatened by those who should have loved and supported them throughout their lives.

AJ and Alex are two homeless LGBT youths living on the streets of
LA. For their story follow this link

When a child is born, a road of infinite possibilities open up ahead of her. Parents hold the baby and are amazed and awed that they have the responsibility for this small life - that they will raise a bright and vibrant child who will grow up happy, healthy and fulfilled. That's a great goal. These new parents don't look at their baby and see a drug abuser, a thief, a murderer, or a bully. But these are also possibilities.

What does the future hold for this child?

So celebrate Father's Day and be thankful if your father was supportive and loving. It's exactly what a father should be and you were lucky and cherished. And reach out to those who are less fortunate than you were. Support some of the shelters which exist for LGBT teens who have no other place to turn. Turn your fond memories into action to help others. Here are some resources for you to check out...

The Point Foundation empowers LGBT students to continue their education through grants and scholarships.

Live Out Loud connects LGBT students with LGBT adults in their community, providing positive role models and connections.

New Alternatives provides safe shelter for LGBT youths in New York City.

Although these are East Coast focused (except for the Point Foundation), I'm sure that your specific area also has shelters and programs designed for homeless kids, most of whom are LGBT and I've listed other resources and links in the photo captions above. If you want to help kids, working with your local LGBT programs is a really good way for you to celebrate the loving father and supporting life you were lucky enough to have. If your home wasn't as happy, or you overcame great difficulties to become the fantastic person you are today, reach out to help others overcome their damaging circumstances. Have a happy Saturday and a great Father's Day.

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