In June 2021, the Hungarian government decided that educating children about the topic of identity and attraction, specifically regarding the LGBTQ+ community, was solely the task of parents. As such, parents must know how to react if their young son asks what kind of relationship exists between the two male neighbors or what to do if their teenage daughter shares that she is lesbian and bullied at school because of it. The “Getting to Know LGBT People” program is now offering an online discussion series to help parents answer these and similar questions.
The first discussion takes place Monday February 28th 19:00-20:00. You can find more information about the event and registration on the “Getting to Know LGBT People” Facebook event.
„I have no idea what, when, or how to talk to my child about the LGBTQ+ community. Why is it even important? Anyway, I heard that my child will be gay if I talk about it—is that really true?”
Such questions can come up for parents raising children under the age of 18, especially since June 15, 2021 when the government enacted into law that sexual education is exclusively the responsibility of the parents. The law also restricts children from accessing stories about LGBTQ+ people or accessing information from any other source if they do not understand something about the subject in relation to themselves or others. They are left with the internet, where the credibility of sources is questionable, or their parents, who often know less about this topic than their children.
The moderators of the “Getting to Know LGBT People” program regularly visited schools, with the invitation of teachers, until the law went into force. During these lessons, they shared their own stories and children could ask them questions or debate about LGBTQ+ topics. The program’s goal has always been to help answer questions that left unanswered could lead to frustration, a lack of acceptance of themselves or others, or even abuse.
In the new situation, the goal is unchanged: to help eradicate prejudices and to help all children grow up safe, accepting themselves and their peers.
To this end, the staff at Labrisz Lesbian Association, one of the NGOs running the program, are launching a six-event series of online discussions to support mothers and fathers. The staff will share their knowledge and experience so that parents can be better prepared to answer their children’s questions.
Each event will have a volunteer from the “Getting to Know LGBT People” program, a psychologist, and an invited parent. Parents can ask questions and share their thoughts. Among the invited experts are psychologists Krisztina Peer, Dávid Szél, and Krisztián Rózsa, along with Borbála Reményiné Csekeő, the professional leader of the Kék Vonal Gyermekkrízis Alapítvány (the Blue Line Children’s Crisis Foundation). As a parent, Réka Kiss, whose lesbian daughter took her own life in 2018 as a result of bullying at school, will join the first occasion about the importance of preparation.
It is free to participate, but registration is required. The online discussions will take place on a videochat platform. The questions and answers will be published on the “Getting to Know LGBT People” website afterward so that they are available for those who were unable to attend.
Once more, the first even is on Monday February 28th 19:00-20:00. More information about the event and registration can be found registration on the “Getting to Know LGBT People” Facebook event.
Translated by Amy Soto