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Parents can keep values, accept children who are LGBT

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Leelah Alcorn, 17, who is transgendered, committed suicide on Dec. 28.

In a suicide note left on her Tumblr blog, Alcorn said her parents did not accept her gender identity because of their Christian beliefs and refused to allow her to get gender reassignment surgery.

Instead they sent Alcorn to Christian-based conversion surgery in an attempt to force her to accept being born physically male.

National Association of Social Workers expert Caitlin Ryan, PhD, MSW, ACSW, director of the Family Acceptance Project in San Francisco, said Alcorn’s death did not have to happen.

In a Washington Post column Caitlin said parents can accept their children who are LGBT and still keep their religious values. Compassion is one thing that is vital to this process, Ryan wrote.

“Helping families change behaviors that are reinforced by custom, habit and doctrine requires a different approach; not by recrimination and retribution, but with compassion,” she said.

The National Association of Social Workers supports equal rights for all, including members of the LGBT community. The organization has also long been against reparative therapy. To learn more visit NASW’s Diversity and Equity website.



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1 Comment

  1. I do agree that parents should be given proper orientation and awareness to accept.

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