“Tell It Out!” is a book from parents, for parents; it is about coming out and hearing out! There are many stories, from all over Europe, stories about parents and their children and how love can defeat fear and doubt.
The book is sponsored by the Council of Europe – SOGIESC, so if you want a copy, you can get it for free, just paying shipping costs!
“When she told me that she had a girlfriend, I tried to find out what I did wrong. I blamed myself; I thought it was my fault. I was disappointed- ed. I had different expectations for my life and her life as well. No one teaches you that you shouldn’t plan your child’s life for them… I was afraid that she would be isolated and unhappy because she wouldn’t have friends or find someone who loved her… Luckily my fears did not materialize. My daughter has a wonderful personality. …I think – if anything – that what we first thought were disadvantages have become irrelevant. The difficulties she faced only made her a stronger and better person. I think it’s changed me too. I try to be worthy of her, and I am very proud of her.”
The Council of Europe has repeatedly drawn attention to discrimination against children and young people on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics (SOGIESC) and the huge value of parental support.
Many parents may be at a loss as to where to turn for advice when confronted with the situation where their child is perceived as not conforming on the grounds of SOGIESC. Although it cannot replace face-to-face advice, this book can provide much-needed support and reassurance for such parents.
The testimonies in this book give a powerful insight into the importance of loving, encouraging parents, irrespective of their child’s SOGIESC. The consequences of discrimination stemming from dominant SOGIESC-based stereotyping and restrictive norms in the social environment can lead to a child hiding their real selves, bottling up unmanageable stress, fear of parental rejection and the potential for untold harm. An accepting, supportive family can bring their child unimagined happiness, wellbeing and afford them the same opportunities as all other children to flourish in life.
The Council of Europe’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit stands by these brave parents. They give the best lessons in love and commitment to shared values in a society that has discriminated generations of children based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics. We strongly hope that these real-life examples will give inspiration to all who read them.
Eleni Tsetsekou, Head of SOGIESC Unit