New group in Humboldt meant to answer questions for parents of LGBTQ youth

Andrew Matheson wants parents of LGBTQ youth to know "they're not alone in this new journey."

Andrew Matheson wants parents to know 'they're not alone in this new journey'

A new group for parents of LGBTQ youth is meant to help answer questions they may have. (Heidi Atter/CBC)

Parents of LGBTQ children will have a new place to go for support in small town Saskatchewan. 

Parents of the Rainbow is a new peer-led support group run by the Humboldt and Area Pride Network. Its first night is Dec. 10. 

"Parents can ask questions to other parents and feel supported," Andrew Matheson said. 

Matheson founded Humboldt Pride, now the Humboldt and Area Pride Network, about five years ago. When he came out as gay himself, his parents had a lot of questions. 

"When I came out I had x amount of years to come to terms with myself," he said. "Parents, they're just there to take that information."

Andrew Matheson started the Humboldt and Area Pride Network, formerly known as Humboldt Pride. (Submitted by Andrew Matheson)

The idea for the parents group started when a family member of an LGBTQ youth saw a need for peer support.

"We just want to give parents that chance to also feel as though they're in the same book," Matheson said. 

The group gives adults a place to go and ask questions while their kids take part in their own group meetings. 

"'The 'how to respect pronouns' conversation is quite popular," Matheson said.

"Questions are great, because it's showing that support for that individual."

The first Humboldt Parents of the Rainbow meeting is set for Dec. 10th at 7 p.m. CST at the Humboldt District Health Complex. The Youth Rainbow Coffee Group runs at the same time in a different location.

When the youth group started five years ago, they had one regular attendee. Now, they typically have more than a dozen typically at their events. Matheson hopes to see the parent group grow the same way.

Matheson hopes to empower parents and caregivers to have open conversations with youth and recognize that talking shows youth they aren't alone, he said. 

"It's common concern for youth that are coming out that they feel so alone in such a small community," Matheson said. "In a way parents seem to be feeling the same."

A pride flag flies in Humboldt, Sask. (Humboldt and Area Pride Network/Facebook)


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