CONNECT - SHARE - SUPPORT
Kinship Family & Friends wants to become experts and promoters of those three actions.
Carolyn and John strongly believe that by CONNECTING all interested Family & Friends members we can enrich and enlarge our support and participation in Kinship's goals to make life better for all of its members and their willing family members. Imagine doubling or tripling active involvement of LGBTQ+ family members within their own families, with other families, and with other Kinship members.
Once we are connected and know each other better, we can establish different lines of communication so we can SHARE family life situations and solutions with each other. Carolyn and John have over 25 years of experience and involvement with their gay son and his life. In addition, they have also connected and become friends and supporters of more gay and lesbian friends, transgender friends, and a few other LGBTQ+ folks. Imagine the personal knowledge and support we have collectively between all Kinship Family & Friends members!
As we become familiar and comfortable sharing personal experiences, excellent articles and studies, valuable books, TV programs, and movies, we can help other families. We know a couple of pastors that have quietly asked their congregations, "How many of you have an LGBTQ+ family member, maybe not a son or daughter, but a niece or nephew, grandchild, cousin, brother, or sister?" Answers range between 40-45%, and that's just folks who know. How many silent families also exist in our congregations? Carolyn and John are comfortable that at least 50% of our congregation and faith friends probably have one or more LGBTQ+ family members; and we all know the stresses, confusions, emotions, and loneliness that can occur.
This leads us to the third action to SUPPORT those families as we all walk along through our own family journey. None of us are experts with all the correct medical, psychological, or theological professional answers—if they even exist—but we all are parents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and grandparents. We do have real-life experiences with successes and mistakes.
So by connecting, sharing, and supporting, we can develop useful bridges of communication and understandings. Together we can make new friends, learn new ideas and information, and help more families grow loving, understanding, and accepting.
Please feel free to comment and add to this concept. How would you like to connect? What useful ideas and suggestions popped into your mind as you read this?
LET'S START CONNECTING!
John and Carolyn Wilt
Family and Friends Coordinators, SDA Kinship