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LGBT Issues
Myths and Facts about LGBT parents   

On this page:

MYTH: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people do not have children
MYTH: Families with LGBT parents are not "real" families.
MYTH: Children raised by LGBT parents will not have proper male and female role models.
MYTH: It's safer for children of LGBT parents not to talk about their families.
MYTH: The children of lesbian, gay or bisexual parents are more likely to become gay themselves.
MYTH: Children with transgender parents will grow up confused about their own gender
MYTH: Gay men don’t make good parents.

MYTH: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people do not have children

FACT: There are no official figures detailing the number of LGBT parents in Scotland. However, following research conducted by Beyond Barriers in 2002, we can estimate that approximately 1 in 5 LGBT people are parents, co-parents or have children. Although many of these children were born when their parents were in a heterosexual relationship, the last decade has seen a sharp rise in the numbers of LGBT people (in particular lesbian and bisexual women) planning and forming families. Some people have described this period as the “gay-by boom”.

MYTH: Families with LGBT parents are not "real" families.

FACT: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents cook dinners, change nappies, take time off to care for children, help with homework, worry about childcare and read bedtime stories. In short they do all the things that parents normally do to care for and nurture their children. However, LGBT parents, and their children, often face discrimination and prejudice, from doctors and health care professionals, nurseries and schools, from their extended family and from many others areas. Subsequently, LGBT parents must work harder to prove that the love, support and commitment that they give to their children is what defines a family and NOT the sexual orientation or gender identity of the parents.

MYTH: Children raised by LGBT parents will not have proper male and female role models.

FACT: Children find role models in every environment with which they are involved. Most LGBT parents make sure that their children have consistent, positive contact with teachers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and neighbours. Positive role models come in many forms.

MYTH: It's safer for children of LGBT parents not to talk about their families.

FACT: Not talking about something gives the message that there is something wrong with it. Just as Black and minority ethnic or Jewish parents help their children to cope with prejudice and discrimination inflicted on them by society, LGBT parents can and do guide their children in learning to handle anti-LGBT prejudice.

MYTH: The children of lesbian, gay or bisexual parents are more likely to become gay themselves.

FACT: The children of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are no more likely to become gay than the children of heterosexual parents. This is a fact supported by every psychological and sociological study to have examined the issue.

MYTH: Children with transgender parents will grow up confused about their own gender

FACT: There is no evidence to suggest that the children of transgender parents will become confused about or question their own gender. It is natural for children to explore gender and gender roles, and all parents should allow them the space, freedom and opportunity to choose their own identities.

MYTH: Gay men don’t make good parents.

FACT: A 1989 survey in the US found that gay fathers tended to be more responsive to their children's perceived needs than heterosexual fathers. The study also concluded that gay fathers were more likely to engage their children in discussions regarding their children's fears. These scientific findings debunk the myth that gay men cannot be nurturing parents.

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