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83. Supporting parents of LGBTQ teens

Tess Connolly LCSW talks with John Sovec MA, LMFT who is a nationally recognized expert on creating affirmative support for LGBTQ teens and their families. They discuss ways we can support our LGBTQ community. 


  • John introduces himself and tells us about the work that he does with the LGBTQ community and why he came to be working in this field. 
  • John explains the definition of LGBTQ and what it stands for.
  • Tess and John discuss our teens and what parents can do if their child has come out to them. 
  • Tess and John talk about parents going through the grieving process when their child comes out to them and helps us understand this process so we can create space for the healing process. 
  • John talks about looking at when gender is defined and looking at our child when they are born as being “assigned” a sex at birth rather than being born “male” or “female”. 
  • Tess and John speak about the importance of parents having a curiosity about their child’s journey.
  • John talks about the work he does with adolescence and families. 
  • Tess and John talk about the high suicide rate of the LGBTQ community.   
  • Tess and John discuss how we can initiate conversations if we suspect our child may be LGBTQ+ and how as a parent we should be open and have conversations with our children about the LGBTQ community in our daily conversation. 
  • John talks about his book and what it is about and how it can help families. 
  • John gives a final piece of advice to parents for when their child first comes out to them. 
  • John is most grateful for his husband and his Great Dane and for waking up and taking a walk under the sun and feeling the aliveness of the world around him.  


You can learn more about John and his work at and


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