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Did You Know?

Impact of Family Rejection

Gay young adults whose families rejected them when they were younger are more likely to have histories of unprotected sex, illegal drug use and suicide attempts, new research suggests.

The findings don't prove that a family's negative reaction to a child's sexuality directly causes problems later in life. But it's clear that "there's a connection between how families treat gay and lesbian children and their mental and physical health," said Caitlin Ryan, a clinical social worker at San Francisco State University and lead author of a study released in the January issue of Pediatrics.

In recent decades, studies have found evidence that gay, lesbian and bisexual children are more likely to suffer from a variety of ills, including depression and suicide. Researchers attribute the problems to social stigma around homosexuality.

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Making Referrals

When should I refer?

  • Anytime that you are not the right person to assist or provide the information or service.  Remember that the Positive Space symbol simply signifies that you are committed to inclusion and equity for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.  It does not change or alter your usual role on campus as an employee or student.
  • When it is clear that the person is requesting or would welcome the referral.

How do I identify the appropriate resource?

  • Be familiar with institutional resources.  Students may need information on services such as advising, registration, financial aid, student support, counselling, or disability services.  Employees may need information related to human resources, institutional services, union contacts or employee assistance.
  • Institutional and community resources that may be of interest to students or employees who are lgbt are listed in the resources section.
  • If it is unclear where the person should be referred, indicate that you do not know and identify someone else who may be of assistance.  Make some telephone calls seeking more information if you have the time.  Remember that a referral to a member of the Positive Space Alliance is always an option.

Making a referral:

  • Once you have identified an appropriate referral, provide the person with information regarding the department, service, employee, or organization.
  • Whenever possible, provide the name of an individual who works in that department, service or organization and a contact number. 
  • Reassure the person that this department, service, employee or organization can assist them with their concern.  Sometimes persons can feel that they are “just getting the runaround. 

What if the person is reluctant to bring a concern to the responsible department or employee?

  • Understand that sometimes a person needs to vent but has no desire to take any further action.  In such circumstances there may be no need for further action on your part.
  • Sometimes a person needs support and encouragement to take the next step.  Provide the support and encouragement that you can but remember that it is the other person’s responsibility to determine how they wish to address a concern or solve a problem.